AND ITS SEQUEL.
BY ELEANOR KIRK.
Carleton, Publisher, Madison Square.
LONDON I S. LOW, SON, & CO.
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1870, by
GEORGE -W. CARLETON,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern
District of New York.
THE WOMEN'S PRINTING HOUSE,
Eighth Street and Avenue A,
"7WE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH, AND
NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH."
|O naturally kind-hearted and bertevolelit
person can even after years' experience
with the beggars, grinders and sweep-
ers who crowd the streets of New York become
sufficiently inured to destitution and misery to
pass, without notice, their pitiful faces and out-
stretched hands. Now I, in common with many
others, have been acquainted with these appeals
for several years, and have not, after continued
and systematic fleecing, become so hardened or
so sensible that my heart does not ache an hour
after, when I have from inability to afford relief,
or from a determination to bestow my mite where
8 UP BROADWAY.
I am sure it will be well used and appreciated
passed without notice.
1 f In a walk from Ifearl to Eighth, the other day
orir-afher 9 ii%'a\ QO&femplated walk, for I did not
thaVpccasion I decided to speak
"to" every "beggar" 'who' accosted me, and discover, if
possible, what especial phase of poverty was re-
presented by each. Not that my pocket was
especially long at that time, or myporte monnaie
unusually full, not at all ; but some information
might be gained by such a process that could not
be obtained in any other manner ; and then, if
my search was rewarded by really worthy objects,
I could, by the assistance of charitable friends, se^e
that they were provided for. I thought to walk a
block without being accosted ; but, on the steps of
the Central National Bank sat a little woe-begone
bundle of rags, which upon rising and advancing
toward me, I found to be of the feminine gender.
My weakness has always been for this description
of sufferers, and, consequently, there was no lack
" Well, my dear, what do you want ? " I asked
kindly of the little one, whose eyes shone out as
UP BROADWAY. 9
bright as stars on a frosty night from the mass of
curly, unkempt hair which surrounded a face
made prematurely old by this conflict with sin and
"Don't dear me," said she, almost fiercely.
"I got enough of that at the Mission. 'Dear
child,' ' good child,' ' trust in the Lord, child,'
with a bundle of tracts, and no dinner," she con-
"Where do you live, my child?" I asked this
time careful of my adjectives.
"I ain't your child, nor nobody's child, nor
God's child; and I hadn't anything to do with
being made, no more than that old horse had;
and nobody need tell me that there is a good
Father who loves his children; 'tain't no such
thing. Do you suppose, if I was the Lord, I'd
starve poor folks to death that I made myself \ "
and the eager eyes looked into my face, the desire
to reconcile apparent incongruities being stronger,
for the moment, than her desire for good. Here
was a poser. How could I talk to the suffering
child of faith ? How could I tell her that God
loveth whom he chasteneth, and that the more she
10 UP BROADWAY.
endured, the greater was God's care and affection
for her ? So I simply said :
" Such things have troubled me a great deal ;
but I cannot explain to you, here, what I do think
on these subjects. You are suffering; you are
hungry and cold ; now tell me about yourself.
Perhaps I can do you some good. Have you a
father living ?"
" No ! " and the eyes took on a wondering look.
" I don't think I ever had a father."
" And your mother ? "
" Oh, I've got one of them ; but she's no good."
" No good" said I ; " what do you mean \ " and
I tried to put a little sternness into my voice and
manner ; but she took no notice.
" She stays out all night, and sleeps and cries
all day; sometimes she brings home something to
eat, and more times the doesn't ; but I tell you"
and now her eyes flashed fire "she never for-
gets to bring something to drink."
"Where do you live?"
" Round here in Mulberry street."
" Will you take me to your mother ? "
" What, with those good clothes on ? I guess
UP BROADWAY. 11
not ? " And the strange child laughed merrily as
she glanced at my plain street-dress, which was to
her purple and fine linen. Upon assuring her
that I was not at all afraid, she led the way to
her miserable home.
" There she is," said the little girl, pointing to
a figure lying on a bundle of straw in the corner.
" Mother, here is a lady come to see you ; wake
up a minute ; " accompanying her words with a
" A lady ! " and the figure, by no means as in-
animate as it appeared, arose and confronted me.
Such a pair of coal-black eyes, and such a pallid
face, I never saw in my life before. No tigress
ever looked fiercer and 110 woman more beauti-
ful when she discovered I had come in all friend-
liness to be of service, if possible.
" Don't be angry, mamma," said the girl ; " the
lady hasn't got a single tract"
" This is no place for you, madam, and it is im-
possible for you to do me any good," was her
greeting, in clear, ringing tones.
" Your little girl is very thinly clad," I ven-
tured to remark, glancing significantly at some
12 UP BROADWAY.
trumpery hanging round, which was evidently
worn by the woman on her midnight rambles.
" Then you think the mother dresses better
than the child ? " she inquired, smiling disdain-
fully. "Those clothes get her all the bread she
eats. Now I suppose you understand my profes-
" Perfectly," I replied, trying to repress all
emotion. "And if you are satisfied with that
profession, I have no more to say. But your
little girl ? "
"Ah, you would like to take her away, I sup-
pose ; get her a place at service, maybe is that
your game ? But you don't do it, madam," she
interrupted, excitedly. " Perhaps you think I
don't love her perhaps I don't ; but you just
try to wrench her away from me, and then see.
Mary, come here."
" I am not afraid of this lady, mother. I would
like to go with her. I don't like. to stay here all
alone nights with rats and mice, and then have
you drink out of that bottle all day. Oh, Mrs. !
if you would only get me a suit of boy's clothes
somewhere! I could earn lota of money. I'd
UP BROADWAY. 13
black gentlemen's boots and nobody'd know ; but
I can't do anything with these duds. However
came I to be a nasty, good-for-nothing girl,
mother ? I tell you, Mrs., boys can do a heap ! "
I looked from that child to the parent, noted
the same broad foreheads, and intellectual coun-
tenances, and wondered if any influence could
reclaim the mother and preserve the child.
"I do not wish to be impertinent, and pry
into affairs which are none of my concern," I
ventured, at last, " but I am interested in your
history. "Won't you please tell me something of
yourself, and how you came here, for I per-
ceive you have not always lived in this squalid
She hesitated a moment. Then, offering me
her only stool, said :
"I will, and will tell the truth, too. Sit
STRANGE kind of smile illumined
the wan features for a moment as
she looked into my face, which must have
expressed every shade of feeling from that which
the countenance of our blessed Saviour indicated
to that of shrinking and terror, as the dreadful
squalidness of the place, and my apparently un-
protected condition, came home to me.
" You are not used to such scenes as these," she
said. " Do not be in the least alarmed : you are
just as safe in this tumble-down old shanty in
Five Points as you would be in many places on
aristocratic, stylish Fifth avenue. According to
my views, there isn't much difference in the crime
committed in the two places. "Women there have
their paramours and affinities. The man next
door courts his neighbor's wife while the other
fellow trips the light fantastic with still another
UP BROADWAY. 15
man's property. Children are conceived, some of
them legitimately, but children are troublesome
comforts, and 110 fashionable woman, wishes to be
bothered with an increasing family ! So Dr. So-
and-so, who lives in close contiguity, and most
sumptuously, is called. The result an abortion ;
and the murderer pockets his big fee, and keeps
on his work of destruction. These babies will all
confront their unnatural mothers one of these
days in the other country and, madam," clutch-
ing my arm with the grip of a mad woman, " I'd
rather be Mary Montgomery then than one of
these. What do you say ? "
" There is no mistake, my dear," said I, endeav-
oring to be calm, "that infanticide is one of the
most terrible and glaring evils possible to conceive
of ; but the scandalous behavior of women in
high life does not remove one iota of your sin or
mine, or make it any less in the sight of God."
" That's so," she continued thoughtfully. " But
some way it eases one's soul occasionally to make
such comparisons. Think of it as you may, it is
a relief, when Mrs. Gen. or Capt. passes
one like me, drawing away her skirt as she does
16 UP BROADWAY.
so, as if the slightest touch were contamination,
to think, madam, your stock won't be worth as
much as mine in the great by-and-by."
The woman stopped a moment, closed her eyes,
as if to shut out some crushing memories, and the
little bundle of rags the child with the sweet
and wonderfully intelligent face, crept close to
"Say, Mrs.," said she softly, "please to tell me
what these things are for," pointing with her little
red linger to the miserable surroundings.
"What things?" I asked, while the bunch in
my throat grew bigger and tears iilled my eyes.
"Why is all this badness? and this dreadful
cold room ? and these rags, and mother's head-
aches and crying? I don't like 'em; they don't
agree with me ; and I can't bear these clothes. I
never was clean and nice; and what is it all for?
Why mayn't I have good things, and why mayn't
mother stop staying out nights, and drinking out
of that black bottle? /never did nothing to no-
body; what does God punish me for?"
I have been nonplussed many a time with the
questions of my own little ones, but never was my
UP BROADWAY. 17
theology so thoroughly squelched before ; and I
only answered, " My poor child ! I do not wonder
that you ask these questions ; but I am utterly un-
able to give you any light."
How could I make that poor persecuted
babe understand that God loveth whom he
chasteneth? No, indeed. I didn't attempt it;
for in the heaviest of my own afflictions, that
and kindred passages failed to give me the least
satisfaction. I make this statement with due
reverence, for I honestly believe that God is at
the helm, and will bring things out all right one
of these days. But why the innocent should suf-
fer for the guilty will take more light and grace
than I ever expect to attain to in this world to
either explain or reconcile.
" I w r ant to tell you of myself," said the hollow-
eyed woman, breaking in upon a solemn pause,
and fondly stroking the little one's curls. "Now,
Mary, you go and sit with old Mother Thurston
while I talk to this lady."
The child obeyed only saying as she went out
" Please call me before this lady goes ; I want
to see her again."
18 VP BROADWAY.
" My name is Mary Montgomery," she contin-
ued, looking into her lap. " I was born in Phila-
delphia, of American parents, and very respect-
able parents, too. They are both dead now,
thank God. I was well brought up, well edu-
cated, and quite accomplished. These hands,"
holding up her attenuated lingers, " do not remind
one very forcibly of Beethoven's sonatas, or Mo-
zart's symphonies, yet they could manage them
all once. I wonder if I could play a single tune
now? My father and mother never seemed to
love me at least as I wanted to be loved. They
were never demonstrative. My first impression
of my mother was her iciness, and the extreme
formality of my father in all matters of social in-
tercourse. At seventeen I had never been in the
society of young men at all. My father would
not consent to an evening party, a dance, or to
the least mingling with the terrible class of which
he made one. One afternoon, returning from my
aunt's, I strayed into Chestnut street and stole an
hour's walk, as I had done many times before. As
I stood looking into a book-store, I felt that some
one stood beside me, and was conscious that a
UP BROADWAY. 19
gentleman was examining my features attentively.
I turned with the intention of saying something
sharp and saucy but his pleasant and respectful
expression speedily drove that idea from my
mind. Without the least reserve he said :
" ' Here we have all the poets, and most daz-
zlingly arrayed too. Which of the number do
you prefer ? ' enumerating the authors,
" It seemed very proper and natural for me to
answer him. So after a little conversation con-
cerning our favorites, he walked with me until
within a block of my house, when I bade him
good afternoon. During our conversation, I had
given him my name and some idea of my life,
and had promised to meet him the next day, in
front of the book-store in Chestnut street. A
few interviews, and the man had declared his love,
and I had confessed mine. It would never do to
mention this to my parents. I should have been
immediately confined in my own room, with no
prospect of ever seeing my lover again during
the term of my natural life. So we continued to
meet stealthily. At last, he proposed a secret
marriage, saying that he would take me to New
20 UP BROADWAY.
York, and, after the ceremony was performed,
we could plead for the forgiveness and blessing
of my parents. I agreed to that also. Oh! I
loved him so, that I would have sunk my soul in
the lowest depths of the inferno to have given
him pleasure! and oh, my God, how I love him
this minute ! how I love him ! how I love him !
Excuse me, these exhibitions are not interesting to
you," and then continued. " I left my home one
day with nothing save the clothes I had on. We
took a train to New York then a carriage from
the depot to some minister's house and were mar-
ried. After that to a hotel, where we remained
for a few days, and then my husband took me
home. Oh, and wasn't it home ? Everything that
money could buy was lavished upon that house ;
and as I crept into his arms, after a careful ex-
amination of every nook and corner, I thanked
God from the bottom of my heart that I had
found so good and loving a husband."
|H! my dear lady," she said, "there
never was such happiness since the bliss
Adam and Eve enjoyed in the garden of
Eden as we experienced for more than a year.
My husband often remained away from me all
night, telling me that business compelled him ;
but he would inyariably make it up by remaining
by my side the greater portion of the succeeding
day. I had no care, no responsibility. Life was
love, and love was life. I ate it, drank it, feasted
upon it, revelled in it. In short, I bowed down
before my idol and worshipped him. One year
passed, and my Mary was born, the little girl
who brought you here."
" The child of honest wedlock, then ? " I inter-
rupted, and without thinking.
"Oh don't, madam as I supposed; as I be-
lieved;" she replied distractedly. " But wait
22 UP BROADWAY.
until I finish. Please don't anticipate, or I shall
never have strength enough left to finish the
sickening details. She was a darling baby and
her father was so fond of her. I used sometimes
to grow jealous of the caresses lavished upon her.
I used to wonder why my husband never took
me to parties, and why we never received com-
pany like other families in upper-tendom, and
why he always chose the evenings to take me out
for a walk or drive, and I would occasionally
express to him my astonishment at the way our
domestic programme was arranged. lie always
replied after this style : < Is my little wife dis-
satisfied ? If so, I will invite half New York to
entertain her. It is because I love her so, that,
buried in my own heart, I desire to satisfy her
with what she finds there.'
" "We read and sung, and sketched, and petted
baby, with no cloud to disturb our serenity. By-
and-by it came without a single gust of prepara-
tion. My husband generally returned to me
about three in the afternoon. One day he was a
little later than usual, and just as I was going
down to the dining-room to see that everything
UP BROADWAY. 23
was in order for dinner, I found that the servant
was admitting visitors into the hall. This was so
rare that I stopped to see who was coming.
u ' Does Mrs. live here ? ' mentioning my
name I heard a lady ask in low tones.
" < She does, madam ; will you please walk into
the parlor'?' the servant replied.
<c I drew back into the library and waited for
her to enter. It might be my mother, I thought,
to whom I had written for forgiveness several
times, but never had received an answer. Im-
agine my surprise, when a lady, elegantly
dressed, followed by a nurse carrying an infant,
swept by into the drawing-room. I immediately
passed in after them.
" 'Mrs. , I suppose,' said the lady, with a
look of unutterable scorn upon her handsome
" ' Yes, madam,' I replied. c Whom have I the
honor of addressing ? '
"'Not the least consequence, Mrs. ; I
have business with your husband.'
"'I am expecting him in every moment,' I
replied. ' Please make yourself comfortable.'
24: UP BROADWAY.
" Just then the nurse brought my babe to the
door. She was then about six months old, just
able to sit up alone. The other babe was appar-
ently about the same age. I placed my darling
on the carpet, and held out my hands to the
other little one. She came to me in a moment,
held up her cherry lips for a kiss, and I removed
her cap and cloak, and placed her beside mine.
Oh ! merciful Father ! they were as alike as two
roses from the same stem. But even then I was
" f llow do you account, madam,' said the
woman in tones cold and polished as glittering
steel, < for the remarkable resemblance between
these two children?'
" They were both dressed in white, with blue
sashes and sleeve trimmings. I did not at first
reply, but laughingly removed my chain from
my watch-guard, and. slipped it around the neck
of my Mary, saying, as I did so, i I will place a
mark on mine to distinguish her, else, I fear, we
shall hardly be able to tell them apart. ' Pretty
soon I heard my husband's night-key, and in a
UP BROADWAY. 25
second Ms voice, singing the old Scotch ballad
(he always sang as he entered .the house),
" * Oh, Mary is my darling, my darling, my darling,
Oh ! where in the world is my darling
That I do not find her here ? '
"'My husband has come,' said I. *I will
bring him to you.'
'" There is a lady in the parlor for you,' I
said, and flew to his embrace.
"*"A lady!' he repeated in a strange whis-
per. 'You are joking, dear,' but an awful pale-
ness overspread his face. ' Tell her I am not in ;
that's a gqpd little wife. How come she to be
admitted ? ' but before I could leave the hall, the
fury was upon him.
" ' Oh ! ' said she, calling him by his right name.
You see, my dear lady, I had never known it.
' Did you think to keep on deceiving me in this
style? Come here and look;' and clutching him
furiously by the arm, she almost dragged him in-
to the parlor. The two babies began to crow and
laugh, clapping their tiny hands in their delight
at seeing him. Oh, my wasn't that fearful!
26 UP BROADWAY.
and as he threw himself into a chair near them
in a perfect agony of despair, the little darlings,
determined that he should notice them, played
with his feet, and finally, failing to attract his
attention, commenced to cry piteously. I did
not then comprehend the depth of the dreadful
affair; and taking the infants from the carpet I
placed one on each knee of the man I had called
husband. He pressed them both to his bosom
for a moment, saying as he did so, ' Mary, you
have killed me.'
"'But what does all this mean V I at last
found breath to ask.
"'It means, madam,' said the self -possessed
woman, ' that that man is my lawful husband,
and that child his legitimate offspring. It means
that you are his mistress, and that babe the child
of shame and lust.'
"'You are a liar,' said I, springing towards
her. c Unsay those dreadful words, or these hands
will force an entrance to your black heart ; ' and
God only knows what else, in my insane agony, I
UP BROADWAY. 27
" c Ask him if it is not so,' replied the woman,
still cool and polished.
" ' Mary,' said my my oh, yes my hus-
band ; let me call him that once more. ' Curse
me if you will. I am utterly unworthy a single
thought. That woman, proud, overbearing and
cold, I never loved, but she is just what she* repre-
sents herself, my lawful wife
" < And I I I am what ? ' I shrieked.
" ( My darling/ he replied, ' my heart's choice !
but in the eyes of a cruel world just what she
has told you ; my mistress. I loved you, Mary;
your beauty and your innocence dazzled me. My
heart was hungry for you, and I foolishly thought
I could provide for all without being detected,
but that bloodhound has traced me, and we are
betrayed. I am oh, my a miserable wretch.'
"'But our marriage'
"'Was a farce. I was not man enough to
attempt bigamy even.' "
[AT did I do?" she repeated, as under
my breath, my heart beating in sym-
pathy for the poor narrator, I could
not help asking.
"Do ! I snatched my babe from the floor, and,
with jnst a few articles of wearing apparel and a
small sum of money, I left the house without an-
other word ; left that cold, haughty woman still
in the parlor; left the only person I loved on
earth, except my little one. No one saw me go.
I took the evening train for Philadelphia; went
to my father's house at eleven o'clock at night ;
found that my mother had died a few weeks
previous. My father came stiffly into the parlor ;
inquired what might be my business with him
to transact it as quickly as possible, as he was in
a hurry to close the house and retire. I told him,
that I had brought my baby home to make a visit.
UP BROADWAY. 29
Oh, I did so hope to soften his heart! The little
one clapped her tiny hands, laughed up into his
iron face, called him papa ! but he took no notice
I then continued to ask him if he had one kind
word for his daughter?
"'Not one,' he replied, flying into an ungovern-
able rage. ' Where is your keeper, madam, the
father of that child?' he roared. 'If he be dead,
I may, perhaps, for decency sake, tolerate you
under my roof but that brat, never. Say 2'
grasping my arm and shaking me fiercely 'yes
or no ! Is he dead or living ?
"'Living, father,' said I, 'and likely to live. I
have come to you to-night for shelter. I have no
other home. Do let me stay with you ? '
44 'When that child of disgrace and its damned
parent are both in the grave, come to me, and I
will feed and clothe you; but with those evi-
dences of shame about you, never, never, never,
BO help me God ! '
" Oh, how those memories madden me ! " said
the woman, rising from her seat on the floor and
pacing rapidly up and down a moment or two.
" Sometimes, madam," she continued, her whole
30 UP BROADWAY.
expression changing from the fierce, almost des-
pairing look her face had all the time worn to
one of weird and wonderful illumination ; " some-
times, I hear my father's voice (he died, you see,
only a few months after this), saying, 'Mary!
Mary! my child, forgive me? I knew not what
I did. Upon my soul rests your downfall!' I
hear this voice in the night hear it in the
day hear it when on my Broadway beat! It
seeks me here, there, and everywhere ! < Forgive
me, child ! Oh, forgive me ! '
"And you have forgiven him," I ventured to
remark, through a blinding mist of tears.
"Have I?" she replied, pausing in her walks,
and looking me straight in the face with those
wondrous eyes of hers. " Have I ? Perhaps you
know more about it than I do ! "
Aye, there was rebellion there. Rebellion in
the curve of the lip, rebellion in the toss of the
head, beautiful, even now, bowed down though
it was with the weight of sin and shame.
" Forgive him ! Who forgives me ? When
Fifth avenue takes me by the hand ; when min-
isters stop preaching of charity, and put some of
UP BROADWAY. 31
it into practice ; when Christians remember that
the only reprimand of Jesus to the fallen woman
was ' Go, and sin no more,' then will I forgive the
man who sent me and my baby to perdition.
When do you suppose that will be? You can be
gentle and kind to me, here. You dare let your
tears fall now, that there is no one by to observe
your weakness ; but suppose sometimes returning
from opera or lecture, acompanied by your
friends, you should meet me, do you think you
would have a kind word for me then? No,
indeed. You would pity me, I know, because
you are naturally loving and sympathetic, but
to go contrary to society's requirements and
conventionalisms, you would not dare! I'll tell
you what I will do. I will leave Fifth avenue
and the rest of the world to their own devices,
and promise this, since you are so earnest in
regard to my most unnatural parent: I will
forgive when you, with your select few, unex-
pectedly meeting me, can say, ' Good evening, my
friend ; I am glad to see you.' "
"Then allow me to tell you," I replied, "that
your father is forgiven, if forgiveness, which I
32 UP BROADWAY.
certainly do not believe, can depend upon such
contingencies for its evidences and expression.
I should neither be ashamed nor afraid to speak
to you, meet you under what circumstances I
might. But I must certainly question your right
to demand this. I sometimes fear that the pas-
sage of Scripture where Jesus commands the one
without sin to cast the first stone, has, from its
singular perversion, done more harm than good."
Those fierce eyes glared down into my soul ; but
for the first time in my life I shrank not from
giving pain. The surgeon probes deeply when
he would discover the nature and depth of the
wound he desires to heal, so I looked away for
a moment from the glowing countenance and
continued: "When Jesus forgave that erring
woman, he said, c Go, and sin no more.' There
was never a word in regard to her continuing in
the paths of immorality, or the duty of the public
towards one guilty of such persistence. "We are
counselled, I admit, to a boundless charity; we
are told to forgive seventy times seven ; but after
all that, the public sentiment which denies to
those guilty of transgressing human and divine
UP BROADWAY. 33
laws the privileges of social life, is, in my estima-
tion, a healthy one. Although I could and
would accost you kindly under any and all cir-
cumstances, yet you have no right to expect it,
unless you change the whole current of your life,
and dertermine to turn your back upon those
unholy influences forever."
I had said more than I intended, for it is never
best to preach much to these sufferers; but as I
continued, the fierce look fled from her eyes, and
she replied honestly:
"Well, I never thought of that before. To
tell the truth, I never associated Jesus' forgive-
ness with any idea of the cessation of sin."
Now this may appear very singular to readers,
that such construction should be placed by any
intelligent person upon so apparently lucid a
passage ; but I am free to say, after an extended
observation, that nothing in the Bible has ever
been so grossly misconstrued and acted upon as
"I scarcely know," said she musingly, "whether
I shall bless or curse the fate that sent you here
to-day. One or the other, I assure you. I had
34 UP BROADWAY.
tried so long to stop thinking, and had settled
so many things to my satisfaction, now I shall be
compelled to go all over the ground again. But,
as I was saying," going back to her story again,
" with my baby in my arms, at the hour of mid-
night, cold and dark, I walked out of my father's
house, and heard him carefully bolt the door as
I walked off the marble stoop. A servant who
had lived in our family for years, with whom I
was a great favorite, followed me from the back
entrance, took my little one, and led me to her
sister's house, where I was comfortably cared for
until the next day, when I left for New York,
determined to fight out the battle of life here
and I have."
|HE winter sun slanted into the comfort-
less room, reminding me that the day
was almost spent, and the better plan
was to leave and come again the next afternoon.
She saw my glance and interpreted it aright.
' Yes, you had better go now," said she, with
a pained look. " Mary shall see you to Broad-
way ; no one ever molests her."
"And now," said I, "please tell me what
you have in the house for your supper. And
if there is not some way of making a cheerful
" I have money enough," she replied, " to pro-
cure everything we need to-night, and Mary will
soon go to bed, so it will be of no use to make
up any more fire."
" And shall you retire with your little daugh-
ter ? " I required, looking her straight in the eye.
36 UP BROADWAY.
"Oh no!" she said, returning my glance
unshrinkingly. " I have an engagement."
The reader can imagine my feelings. Pity,
sympathy, a desire to take the poor tempest-
tossed woman in my arms and ;fly with her to
some spot out of the reach of temptation, tilled
my soul. My position was a delicate one. I
realized of how much service would be a word
fitly spoken ; and if ever I prayed in my life, I
prayed then that I might be given, not only the
right spirit,. but that which is often quite as
essential, the right language in which to clothe
this spirit of longing and sympathy. Many and
many a person in their dealings with different
classes of unfortunates, with as earnest a desire
to be of service as ever burned in the soul of
man or woman, have blundered fearfully in this
respect, and, by some unlucky sentence, or appar-
ently unfeeling interrogative have set impassable
barriers between themselves and the objects of
their interest. Providence spared me the neces-
sity of assuming the initiative. As I stood
wondering what it was best to say in what man-
ner I could reach that part of her nature I most
desired to reach, she remarked pleasantly :
UP BROADWAY. 87
"Excuse me, madam, but I know what you
are thinking about. I see it all in your eyes.
You want me to promise that I will not go out
to-night. Isn't that it ? "
"Exactly," I replied, while that dreadful
bunch in my throat grew (to coin a word)
"Well," she resumed, ^1 promise, upon my
word and honor, if you can believe in either,
after all I have told you, that I will not step foot
into the street this night ? "
There was a touching wistf ulness in the tone
which satisfied me that one victory had been
achieved. I had won her loving confidence, and
that under the circumstances seemed to me a
wonderful stride in the right direction. Please,
dear reader, do not think me foolishly egotistical
in this little narrative. If I do not give you the
particulars as they occurred (for this is no work
of fiction), I shall not be able to make you
thoroughly acquainted with my strange and
" You will excuse me, I know," she continued,
" for being so bold, but please remember that no
38 UP BROADWAY.
human being has spoken a kind word to me
since since he did;" and here the woman
broke down entirely, and buried her face in her
hands, sobbing bitterly. Oh tears, blessed tears !
under such circumstances, a salvation. The
fountains were opened, and she wept unre-
"I thank you a thousand times for this first
proof of your confidence," I ventured to say,
striving to be calm. " I shall leave you now
without fear, and will come again to-morrow
about the same hour ; and now please call your
little girl." The little child came with a dis-
appointed look on her care-worn face, but she
brightened up when she found she was to
accompany me away and that I had promised to
return on the morrow.
"Mary," said I, as we reached the street,
"your mother has promised not to go out to-
"What?" said she, clasping her little hands
and coming to a dead halt. " Won't that be
nice ? I'll have a bully sleep to-night ! I guess
there is a God, and I just guess He is good some-
UP BROADWAY. 39
times There isn't anybody that feels good all
the time, is there f "
Upon questioning the little one as to eatables,
fire, etc., I found that their living was prin-
cipally bread and tea, and that the little gray-
looking concern in the fireplace could be made
to cook very nicely. "What would you like
most to have for your supper, Mary, supposing
you had the choice given you ?" I inquired.
" Oh, meat ! " said she, " meat ! I believe 1
could eat a whole cow."
" Well then, meat you shall have," I replied,
giving the child some change. " Go home and
make a good fire, and have a good supper, and
more than all, little one, try to believe that
although there are hosts of things which none of
us can understand, yet, if we do the best we can,
as near right as we can, that we shall some day
obtain our reward."
" And you believe that ?" she queried, with a
" From the bottom of my heart," I made
"Then I will try to," she replied. "But
everything is so awful bad, and I'm so awful
ragged and so awful dirty. I can't make that
right, because I do like to look like other good
folks, and have mother too ; but never mind, I
will wait for you here to-morrow ;" and the little
one, with a tight squeeze of my hand, ran quickly
away, leaving me, wondering but thankful, once
more on gay Broadway. Aye, friends, the
wealth of the world could not purchase that
day's experience. These words kept ringing in
my ears, all the way home and the tune was a
merry one "There is more joy in heaven over
one sinner that repenteth than over ninety and
nine just persons that need no repentance," and
somehow (of course it was all imagination, but
wonderfully pleasant) the faces of my dear,
departed mother and father looked smilingly out
of every cloud ; and a sweet voice seemed to
whisper, " Inasmuch as ye do it unto one of the
least of these," and what, in the world's estima-
tion, could be of less consequence than an
abandoned woman ?
The next afternoon, at the appointed time, I
met the little girl at the same place. The child's
UP BROADWAY. 41
hair was nicely combed, and her hands and
face as clean as soap and water could make
" How is your mother ? " I asked.
" Well, I dunno ? " she answered. " She cried
dreadful hard, seems to me, most all night, but
she looks real nice this afternoon."
Sure enough, the room was nicely swept, a
bright fire burned in the little stove, and the
bundle of straw which answered for a bed was
covered with an old quilt and tidily arranged.
" How pleasant this seems," I remarked, notic-
ing that two chairs had been added to the furni-
ture. " Now, I am going to take off my things
and you will begin where you left off yesterday,
and then we can put our heads together and see
what we had best do." My new friend peered
into my face curiously, but I chatted gaily, only
wishing to convey the shadow of an idea that I
intended to bring about a revolution in her affairs.
Mary was dispatched, this time very much
against her will, to Mother Thurston, but some
warm stockings and underclothes, with a dress or
two and a brush and comb, which I had col-
lected from friends, did the work, and the child
left, laughing and crying hysterically.
" As I was telling you," the woman continued,
" I returned to New York. I spent one whole
week hunting for work. Every place I went I
was compelled to carry my baby. All looked
at me suspiciously. Finally, in despair, I went
where shirts and men's underclothing were
given out, found an old woman who took care of
Mary, and promised to board us for three dol-
lars a week. The first work I carried home I
was confronted by the proprietor, who, after
asking me several questions about myself, ended
by informing me that he would give me a better
quality of work, better pay, and all that sort of
thing. He did so, and I found myself able to
earn from six to eight dollars a week. He
seemed very kind, and I believed, notwithstand-
ing my wretched experience, that he was my
friend. One evening I was surprised by a visit
from the man, who informed me that it was his
practice to call occasionally on his employes. I
swallowed that also, without the least suspicion."
JOU can understand, madam," continued
the heart-broken woman, "how very
easy it was for me to be imposed upon.
The descent from affluence had been so sudden
that I could not realize the poverty and disgrace
it had entailed upon me. I had been guilty of
no sin except that of leaving my parents for the
man I loved; and it took a good many hard
knocks to enable me to comprehend that a woman
toiling every day for her bread and butter was
not a fit candidate for respectable society. So
when Mr. called upon me in a friendly man-
ner, stating that ever since he had been in busi-
ness he had made it a practice to call occasionally
on his employes, how could I be expected to
look through the crust of deceit and treachery
that enveloped the man, and read the depravity
hidden away in his black soul He represented
44 UP BROADWAY.
himself as a Christian, too ; invited me to go to a
Methodist conference meeting, desired to know
if I had ever been converted, and if I considered
my calling and election sure, etc. On one occa-
sion he prayed with me most earnestly. This
state of things continued several weeks, during
which time I made excellent wages, and got on
comfortably. But Heaven only knows how un-
happy I was. One evening the old woman I
boarded with was away to church, and my em-
ployer called. I had never before been a
moment alone with him. Something, I scarcely
knew what, had always kept me from lighting
him to the door, although he had once or twice
especially requested it. This evening I had cried
until, fearful of spoiling my work, I laid it away;
and when I recognized his knock upon the door, a
peculiar warning, or premonition of evil, caused
the cold perspiration to stand in great beads
upon my face. His greeting was polite and
unexceptionable. I became in a measure as-
sured. He rallied me upon my swollen eyes,
reasoned with me in regard to the utter useless-
ness and folly of tears, assured me that I should
UP BROADWAY. 45
always have a friend in him, and ended by draw-
ing his chair closer to mine, and inquiring in
low tones if I had not seen, from the very com-
mencement, that his feelings toward me were not
the ordinary feelings of friendship, but a deeper,
truer, more passionate yearning than this word
could ever suggest? I started back in horror.
Then light commenced to dawn.
" < Do not be afraid of me, Mary/ he urged in
the low, hissing tones of a serpent. * You shall
never take another stitch never do another
day's work; you shall be mine to care for
mine to keep ; you shall have your own earnings,
and be mistress of your own establishment, and
baby shall be to me as my own child.'
"'Have I not heard you, Mr. speak of
your wife on several occasions?' I inquired,
with as much calmness as I could assume.
" ' Why, of course you have, you little simple-
ton ; but didn't you know that it is all the fash-
ion for men and their wives to hate each other
cordially, and seek each their own pleasure in
their own peculiar way? If you don't, let me
enlighten yon. My wife does just as she
46 UP BROADWAY.
pleases. I never question, and vice versa. I
loved you, Mary, as soon as I saw you. Now
tell me that you will allow me to remove you
from this horrible place to-morrow.'
" I looked at myself in the old woman's quaint
little mirror, and wondered that I didn't fall
dead at the man's feet. There I stood, the
heart-broken victim of one wealthy New York
merchant, dishonored and disgraced; and now,
before the iron in my soul had had time to cool
in the least, another of the same profession makes
similar overtures. Aye, but I loved the first
how well Omniscience only knows. Whether I
should, had I discovered his treachery before our
mock marriage, I am unable to say, but this
much I do know that this moment, with the
whole wretched past looming up before me the
years of suffering and ignominy I love him
better than all above or below. But this man,
my employer, I detested. His glowing picture
of a life of luxury only filled me with dis-
gust. It was no virtue to resist, for a crust
alone would have brought to me greater comfort
than all the wealth of the Indies shared with him.
UP BROADWAY. tf
Summoning all my courage, I said to the villain,
who had never taken his eyes from my face, evi-
dently striving to bring all his magnetic power
to bear upon my peculiar temperament
" ' Sir, I am astonished that a man occupying
your position in society, representing himself as a
Christian gentleman, should so far forget what
belongs to decency. I scorn both you and your
proposal ; and now do me the kindness to leave
the house immediately. Not a word,' I contin-
ued, as he seemed inclined to argue the point.
He attempted to seize my hand. I saw from the
frenzied look on his face that the man had deter-
mined to do me harm; so, taking advantage of a
moment's hesitation on his part, I sprang to the
door, opened it, and never stopped until I had
reached the street and hidden myself in a neigh-
boring area, and there waited for him to come
out. In a moment or two he passed, and I ran
back to my little room, locked the door, and
waited, in a state of mind impossible to describe,
for the arrival of my old friend.
"<Ah, child!' said she, 'I could ha' told you so.
Heigho! That's the way with all the big bugs!
48 UP BROADWAY.
A woman's virtue is no more account to 'em than
the dirt under their feet; and you have lost your
nice work too; mark my words, child. He'll
hunt you down; a disappointed man is worse
than a baffled beast, because he's got what the
beast haint, reason to back him.'
" I had not thought of the work ; but now what
should I do? No one would make a favorite of
me, and give me choice work and ample remu-
neration, unless he had his own selfish and lust-
ful desires to gratify. What wonder that I could
see nothing but desolation before me ? I finished
the work I had on hand, and returned it, re-
cieved from the book-keeper my money, and was
politely informed that my services were no
longer needed. I had saved up thirty dollars,
and, with this to depend upon, I hunted for
employment. Shirts from six to ten cents apiece
was the best I could find, and with this I had to
be content. My little fund was at last all gone
and work as fast as I could, and as long as I
could, I was not able to earn enough to pay our
board. The old woman was a good, kind soul,
and for three or four weeks did all in her power
UP BROADWAY. 49
to encourage me ; but she had no income except
that obtained by fine washing and ironing for a
few families. One day she was taken seriously
ill, and my baby also. Neither of us had a cent
of money. The next day both invalids were
worse. I went to the different stores where
we were accustomed to buy our provisions,
hoping they would trust me, but met with no
success. In despair I begged, but no one would
listen to me. Evening came again, and, what
with my long fast and dreadfully nervous con-
dition, I had no milk for my baby ; and my old
friend lay groaning, and almost dying for the
comforts of life. I started out again, this time
determined to return with food and medicine.
I went into a corner grocery, watched my oppor-
tunity, hid a loaf of bread under my shawl, and
slipped out. I had not got a block from the
store, when a policeman clapped his hand upon
my shoulder, and, with 'Come with me, miss,'
led the way to the station-house, where I was
locked up for the night. "
[I ! what a night of horror was that !
I told the policeman who took me to
the dreadful place that I had a starv-
ing infant at home, and my only friend was
dying for want of care and medicine. I failed
to make the least impression upon the stony-
" ' Come along, now ; step up lively ; might as
well save your gab,' were the only replies he
vouchsafed me. Once I tried to run away from
him, but he grasped my wrist with his iron hand
until I cried out wfth pain, and then laughed
heartily at my suffering. Did you ever " and
her dark eyes sought mine wistfully "see the
inside of a station-house of an evening? I
realized by my own wretchedness before this,
the fearful amount of suffering there must be in
the world, but this experience shut and bolted a
UP BROADWAY. 51
door in my soul that I do not believe will ever
be opened again in this world or the next. It
hardened me. Talk about hell," she continued,
rising and pacing the floor as these terrible
memories again assumed life and shape. " New
York City is full of purgatories, and the station-
houses are not among the least of them. About
ten o'clock a pleasant-faced policeman came in,
and looked around at* the strange crowd, it
seemed to me, with an expression which had
some humanity in it, if not pity. I beckoned
for him to come to me, and I told him my
"'Then you really took the loaf of bread ? ' he
"'Oh, yes, sir,' I replied. 'I took it because
I had no money to pay for it, and we were all
"'Poor child,' he said, musingly. 'Give me
your number, and I'll stop there as I go down
and take them something to eat. It is not likely
that the Dutchman will appear against you in
the morning, and you'll get home in pretty good
season ; ' and then he went out and returned in
52 UP BROADWAY.
a moment with a piece of gingerbread, which I
can tell you I was very thankful for. c Now,'
said he, ' I will be at your house in ten minutes
and will make it all right with the old woman
and baby.' Oh, I hope," she continued, tears
rolling down her cheeks, " that I shall sometime
have it in my power to repay that policeman ! or
at least let him know how heartily I appreciated
his kindness. Oh, % my friend, such men are
few and far between. I thought it would
never be morning, and then it seemed to me I
should never be called to court, but after a while
fifteen or twenty women were placed in march-
ing order, and I one of the number, arrested for
taking a loaf of bread, which I could neither beg
nor purchase. As the policeman had hinted, no
accuser came, and about eleven o'clock I was
dismissed. It did seem to me that I should
never live to reach home, short as the distance
was. My baby lay on the bed by the side of the
old woman. A porringer containing some milk,
with which the good old soul had fed the little
one, with some crumbs of bread, were also beside
her. My baby laughed and held up her tiny
UP BROADWAY. 53
hands as I entered, and in my gladness to find
that all was well with the darling; I pressed her
a moment to my heart without bestowing so
much as a glance at the motionless figure of my
friend ! Oh, my dear madam, when I did look,
I thought I should have fallen dead to the floor !
There lay the only friend I had on earth, her
hand even then clutching the spoon with which
she had kept the breath of life in my baby, her
eyes stony and wide open, and not one trace of
life visible on her features ; her hands were cold
and rigid. Death must have come to her very
gently two or three hours previous. I called for
assistance, and after a while got together two or
three friends of the old woman's, who arranged
everything in decency and in order. Tins
paralyzed me. I was like one walking in a
dream. Whatever I did was performed me-
chanically. The funeral was over, the body
consigned to the dirt of Potter's Field, the few
little articles of furniture sold to pay expenses,
and I found myself once more, with my infant
in my arms, without a friend and without a
dollar. Several families offered me washing,
54: UP BROADWAY.
but they objected to the baby. I knew it was
useless to attempt that sort of work, as I had
never done a day's washing in my life and of
course I could never give satisfaction. I walked
around for two days, calling at different houses,
trying to obtain a chambermaid's situation, but
no one wanted an unrecommended female, with
a helpless little one. Well, night came again.
I was tired and hungry, and had arrived where
I cared very little what happened to me.
I begged. No one noticed me, and finally I
decided to jump into the river. I turned out
of Broadway into Cortlandt street, and a block
down met a handsomely-dressed woman, who
very kindly stopped at my call. She listened to
my story, and told me to follow her, and she
would put me in the way of earning my own
living, and a good one. I knew what she meant,
but I didn't care. There was nothing (this I
solemnly swear) between that and a double crime
suicide and murder. This was the only thing,
my friend, God had left for me to do, and I
accepted it gladly. There now, don't shudder
so," as a convulsive tremor passed over me.
UP BROADWAY. 55
" Hunger and cold and death are wonderfully
strong provocations to this description of sin.
I accepted it gladly, because there was nothing
else under heaven I could do to save my own
and my child's life, and hundreds of women are
yearly driven to prostitution and the w^ages of
sin for the same reason. Well, I went home
with the stranger, found everything in splendid
style, a large drawing-room elegantly furnished,
and all the apparent paraphernalia of wealth.
My baby was given into the hands of a nurse,
and the mistress of the establishment superin-
tended my toilet. I can tell you I was dazzlingly
arrayed and well fed. I was draped in the
costliest of silks and the fleeciest of laces.
Diamonds sparkled from my -neck and fingers,
and as I gazed at myself in the full-length
mirror I wondered at my own beauty. I saw the
woman pour a drop or two of some white liquid
into the fragrant coffee, but I din't know what it
was, and didn't care. Oh, how my cheeks
burned and eyes glowed after that meal. Had
I been sipping nectar from the ambrosial fount,
or suddenly transported into some tropical clime,
56 UP BROADWAY.
where everything was love and beauty, I could
not have experienced more ecstatic sensations.
I was taken to the parlors and formally intro-
duced as Miss Belle Hosmer. I played the
piano, danced, sung and coquetted, and was, of
course, the feature of the evening. It is no use
to go on. The next morning found me sorrowful
and conscience-stricken, and unable to look into
the innocent eyes of my baby. But my virtue
was gone. I had sold it for something to eat
and a shelter. It was too late to retract, and
what if I did ? There was nothing else in life
for me. From that time to this, weary, heart-
sick, cursing my existence, I have practiced this
dreadful business, but never once, so help me
Heaven, because it afforded me pleasure. Now,
you have it all, and I suppose realize how useless
it will be to think of such a thing as reformation.
I am so grateful to you for your kindness and
sympathy but but "
"No buts in the case," I replied cheerfully.
" Now let me talk."
j|OU know, as well as you know that
you have life and feeling, that the
course you have pursued for the last
few years is not only destructive to the body,
which God gave you to care for and keep pure,
but also destructive to your soul. By soul, I mean
the higher, more exalted portion of your nature.
Anything from which our understanding and
heart revolt we should avoid, even if in so doing
we die daily and at last literally. I believe, as
you say, that hundreds of women are driven to
prostitution from the effects of want, grim hun-
ger, and cold, and therefore have not a word to say
in regard to your past life; but the present
is mine. In a strange but loving manner,
Heaven has directed my steps in your direc-
tion, and I cannot will not leave you to fol-
low a business which must send you to your
58 UP BROADWAY.
grave dishonored, leaving only a heritage of
infamy to your dear little daughter."
" There is no help for it," she sighed. " Grate-
ful as I am for your sympathy and kindness, I can
make no promises. God knows, I would be glad
to do differently, but what is there in life for a
woman after she has once fallen ? You know too
well that her course is down, down, forever down.
Society allows her no alternative."
"But you have set aside all social laws in the
past, why not ignore conventionalisms still fur-
ther, by daring to turn your back upon all such in-
fluences, and by respecting yourself ? Let society
go its own way, where your conscience and com-
mon-sense approve. Why should you care what
the world says or does? You certainly are not
mindful of its requirements now; a pure life need
make you no more so; and just remember, as I
have told you before, that you have no right to
expect anything from social etiquette, excepting
so far as you conform to social rules. Notwith-
standing your intimacy with sin, it would, I know,
grieve you fearfully, did you think that Mary
would ever be led to follow in your footsteps."
UP BROADWAY. 59
" Oli, God forbid ! " she moaned, clasping her
"Well, then, yon certainly cannot blame other
mothers for wishing to keep their daughters away
from influences which they know to be unhal-
lowed. It is right for them to be thus particular! "
"Why not put the boot on the other foot a
while?" she queried. "Women are only fearful
about those of their own sex. It doesn't matter
to them how many libertines they entertain;"
and now her eyes flashed fire. " The more con-
quests a man has made, the more ruins he has ef-
fected, the better his recommendation to genteel
society; but his victims where are they? A
reformed rake, so an old writer puts it, 'makes
the best kind of husband,' but who ever heard
of a reformed prostitute making a good wife?
Pshaw! how ridiculous to talk on so one-sided
and unjust a subject. I tell you, madam, there
is no chance for a woman in the world."
" I have thought this matter over thousands of
times, and deplored the existence of such a state
of things in this enlightened and intelligent age,
but this is my rock," I replied. " And it is a glo-
60 UP BROADWAY.
rious one to anchor to. It is none of onr busi-
ness what Tom, Dick, or Harry does, how much
sin they are guilty of, or how much their commis-
sions are winked at, but it is our business what we
ourselves are guilty of, because, in a large sense
of the word, we are our own keepers, and conse-
quently our responsibility can scarcely be esti-
mated. We must leave off thinking of other
people's digressions from rectitude, and the man-
ner in which such digressions are received, and
weed the garden of our own souls carefully, not
forgetting all the time to sow the seeds of charity.
Thus we shall be enabled to do ourselves and
" A very good doctrine to preach," she answer-
ed; "but I am fearful it will hardly work well.
You never were tempted ; you never were tried ;
you never were hungry and cold; you never had
a little one crying for food you were unable to
furnish. What do you know of the awful ills of
life? Delicately reared, well cared for, sheltered
from every rough wind, how can you judge for
me?" and now the lines around the sufferer's
mouth grew hard and ominously distinct.
UP BROADWAY. 61
Notwithstanding the unquiet look on my
friend's face, I could not refrain from smiling,
as I remembered how sorrow and keen soul-
trials sometimes develop selfishness, and I
went back four years before, to my own heart-
ache, my own dark hours, and as I then
thought unparalleled wretchedness, and re-
called the tempests of passion, the fearful strug-
gles between desire to leave a world I consid-
ered so unfairly governed, and the duty I
owed to the life a higher Power had given me
to nourish and care for. She saw my smile,
and, with her peculiarly keen intuition, re-
marked eagerly :
" Your expression says, < I do know some-
thing of the storms of life.' Tell me, dear
madam, have you ever suffered any sorrow
that can be compared to mine ? "
I realized that a leaf from my own ex-
perience would be of use, and replied :
" Like you I have been hungry and cold.
I have not only put one babe to bed unfed,
but four precious little ones. Like you I
have had no shelter. Our histories differ es-
62 UP BROADWAY.
sentially ; but I truly believe that there has
been as much wormwood and gall compressed
into a few years of my life as into your
own, sad as I realize your case to have been."
"And yet you maintained your own self-
respect?" she half queried and half affirmed,
bursting into tears.
".Yes, my dear, not only my 'own self
respect,' but have lived to thank God for
those moments of auguish, realizing fully the
good they have done me. Nothing can de-
velop a nature like sorrow. Sunshine may do
for a while, but the land which does not receive
the pelting storm as well as the gentle dew never
amounts to much, and its grain is not worth the
Just then I heard some one run quickly up
stairs ; saw my companion's cheek pale, and in a
second she had started for the door ; but she was
too late. The visitor entered hurriedly. I looked
up and recognized (how I should like to write his
name in letters of fire) a MINISTER, a man who
professes belief in the hottest kind of eternal
damnation, and whose pleasure it is to shake his
UP BROADWAY. 63
congregation over the bottomless pit on all occa-
sions. For a moment he was speechless. Then
his old hypocritical manner returned, and with it
" Oh ! good afternoon," he blarneyed, walking
toward me with outstretched hand, which, by the
way, I didn't see, just about then. " I am very
glad to meet you here." Then, turning to the
agitated woman, who was still standing by the
door, he said, blandly: "Mary, I have come to
see if you could make me a dozen shirts." Then,
looking around to my corner, continued, while
his eyes rested everywhere but upon my face : "I
have been interested for some time in this young
woman, and have striven to do her what little
good lay in my. power, and "
" And," said I, taking up the little conjunction,
" it is entirely unnecessary for the Rev. Mr.
to add another lie to his already overflowing list.
I perfectly understand the nature of your business
here this afternoon ; and do me the favor to leave
immediately. Mary is my exclusive property
now, and desires never to see your face again."
| HE clergyman made a hasty exit, leaving
me in a perfect whirlwind of rage. It
was distressing enough to think that
men who stood high as merchants and citizens
should thus seek to ruin both body and soul of
the woman I was anxious to befriend, and, if
possible, save ; but to realize that men wearing
God's livery, and professing to be interested for
the salvation of' all mankind, could thus desire
to prey upon the lambs of the fold, was some-
thing which my graceless nature could neither
understand nor forgive.
Since then I have believed in total depravity,
everlasting destruction, and a host of terrible
theological Scyllas, which my little -religious
yacht notwithstanding the head- wind and tide
it had been compelled to buffet had always
steered clear of. But now, where was I? In a
UP BROADWAY. 65
malestrom of doubt and suspicion ; for such ex-
periences are enough to make one lose faith in
It was some time after the villain left before a
word was spoken. Mary was first to break the
" I am not sorry this has happened," she said
evidently only half understanding my enraged
"Did you know that man was a so-called
minister of the gospel ? " I inquired, looking into
the eyes which had been full of tears ever since
the arrival of her visitor.
" I did," she replied.
"And you knew his real name?"
"He did not attempt to deceive you, then?"
" Please do not ask me any more questions ! "
she answered, beseechingly. " But you might
just as well make up your mind that the most of
the godliness professed by these pious folks is a
sham. My experience taught me that a good
while ago, and, as you may imagine, I know con-
siderable about it by this time more, probably,
66 UP BROADWAY.
than you ever will. It is only necessary to make
a stunning profession, and then the hypocrite,
entirely covered by his long cloak, looks one
thing and practices another, and gets the credit
of being a meek and lowly Christian. Discour-
aging, isn't it?"
"Yes, Mary," I replied, "it is discouraging;
facts like these are enough to drive one wild; but
I am thankful I happened to be here. The
wretch wont have much peace of mind for a
while, I reckon."
"Probably he will be somewhat alarmed for
his reputation," said Mary. " But reflection will
soon convince him that his artillery is too heavy
for you to interfere with."
That w r as undoubtedly so, and the thought
w r as driven home to my soul.
Of what earthly use is it for one poor, weak
woman to make war against immorality! It
seemed to me on that occasion like throwing
straws against the wind, and in my heart-aching
perplexity I felt very much like abandoning the
ship. To add to my misery, my companion, who
had scarcely taken her eyes from my face since
the villain's exit,* remarked,
UP BROADWAY. 67
" The more, my dear lady, you lift the curtain
which has hitherto shut out these unpleasant
pictures, the more harassed and perplexed you
will become ; and I see now, by your weary, dis-
tressed expression, that you realize the utter im-
possibility of making any headway in the work
you have undertaken. Let me advise you a little
now. You are a mother, with children, the most
of them boys. To make them what you desire
will certainly require all the time you can spare
from earning their bread and butter. Then, you
are not physically strong, and your health conse-
quently needs the tenderest care, if you would
live to see your children grown and educated.
Now this work noble and glorious though it be !
is not for you. You are too sensitive, and
your sympathies are too easily enlisted; besides,
the views of life which these pictures disclose
will have a tendency to make you distrustful,
and, for that reason, dreadfully uncomfortable.
My dear lady, I am more thankful for the kind-
ness and real love you have shown me than I can
ever express, and really have too much regard
for yourself and your precious little ones not to
68 UP BROADWAY.
warn you that no good will ever result to your-
self from these efforts in this world, and as for
the next, I don't believe much about it. If I
could see the least particle of justice anywhere
I should not be thus sceptical."
"Lord, let me not be discouraged!" was my
especial prayer on that occasion. "Give me
strength to battle for the right ! Give me power
to be heard ! Make the woman before me power-
less to resist the influence I am endeavoring to
sustain, and, above all things, let me be constant,
in season and out of season, in my strivings to be
of benefit to the down-trodden and fallen of my
own sex ! "
" I ought, perhaps, to be very thankful to the
man for showing me so plainly the strength of
the fortification I seek to demolish," I remarked,
after she had finished speaking. " I shall
probably be able to look at this matter more
philosophically after a while ; and now, Mary, for
yourself. Whatsoever my hands find to do, that,
with God's help, I mean to do. He must have
directed my steps here; and please look me in
the face while I tell you that I have determined
UP BROADWAY. 69
that nothing shall send me from you until I have
accomplished my desires, unless it be your own
" Then you will never go," she replied, deeply
affected. " But I have spoken for your own good
and comfort. You must remember, my friend,
that I have tried everything within the scope of
my ability have used every means in my
power before I arrived at this dreadful place to
earn a decent living for myself and child ; and as
true as we both live, just so true, I did not come
to prostitution because I liked it, but because, as
I have told you several times before, there was
nothing else left. If there was nothing then
then, before I had fallen what can there be
now ? " and a sad smile illumined the intelligent
face. " You are a very agreeable lunatic, my
dear, but a lunatic, nevertheless ! "
" If I will see that you are provided with
means to live with remunerative employment,
will you stop, and keep out of this infamous
business ? " I inquired, noting every change that
passed over her countenance.
"How can you ask me such a question?" she
70 UP BROADWAY.
inquired, hastily rising and crossing the room.
* Don't you see that I abhor the life ? Merciful
God yes!" she ejaculated, clasping her hands
prayerfully. " And can you do this ? "
" I can, and I will ! "
One quick, impetuous, thankful cry, and my
companion was close in my embrace. " Woman
fashion," methinks I hear some of you say.
Yes, woman fashion and angel fashion this
time for I know that hosts of the bright- winged
messengers looked down and smiled, and that
the Good Father himself was glad.
1 HE promise I had desired to gain was
mine, and, as I bade my newly-found
friends good-by for a day or two, my
feelings were of a decidedly mixed character.
Thankfulness was, of course, predominant ; but,
to save my life, I could not help thinking of the
man who drew the largest prize in that lottery
we have all heard so much about that mythical
elephant, the height of the poor fellow's ambi-
tion, but so awkward to handle.
I had started out one day to gain some infor-
mation from beggars, determined to question all
who approached me, and, as a friendly paper
remarked, " went home with the first one met."
The journal refrained from saying, "woman
fashion." It was a male (Mail) editor, too, who
stopped thus considerately short in his criticism,
and I shall always admire him for his self-denial.
72 -UP BROADWAY.
Well, when I arrived home, I surveyed my
little family (" little " in this case is a word not at
all meant fora descriptive adjective) and wondered
what I should do first. I had realized from the
beginning how difficult it would be to provide
remunerative work for one so totally unskilled in
every department of labor. I knew that it would
be a long time (perhaps never) before she could
support herself ; and, with her independent ideas,
I saw plainly that not a little finesse would
have to be practiced, if I would have the object
of my solicitude comfortable. To interest my
friends in the case would involve too much pub-
licity at this critical juncture.
" Do not, please do not, bring any one to see
me ! " was her especial prayer, and who could but
respect the extremely natural wish ! I hadn't a
friend but would believe every incident I might
relate to them but would help me in caring for
these new responsibilities; still, it would cer-
tainly be very unfair not to allow them a glimpse
of the person they would benefit. So, after ma-
ture deliberation, I concluded (this time not
" woman fashion ") to keep the story to myself,
UP BROADWAY. 73
and try three or four brokers who had previously
come to my rescue in cases of destitution.
The woman's whole condition must be changed.
Her surroundings must undergo an immediate
and thorough transformation ; and, as I put down
the figures in my little account-book, reckoning up
the expense of coal, wood, a new carpet, a stove,
flour, hominy, and decent clothes, to save my
life I couldn't make it less than one hundred and
fifty dollars. If 1# omitted my daily walk and
hour or so of conversation ; if I retired later
and rose earlier, it would take a long time to
make that amount over and above my own large
and necessary expenses. To cap the climax, my
four-year old, who had been teasing for a doll
that opened its eyes, and had long, curly, real
hair, came to my side just as I had added the last
domestic necessity, with,
"Mamma, when may I have my doll-baby?
Didn't you say when you got that last 'tory
" Yes, dear," I answered, and wondering, as I
kissed her rosy lips, if, under the circumstances,
the darling should not be indefinitely put off. Oh
74 UP BROADWAY.
these everlasting questions of duty and inclina-
tion ! Then master Joe, a young autocrat of six,
"Mamma, see the hole that's just this moment
come on my knee. Mamma, I want loots next
time. Don't you remember you said you'd buy
me boots when these were worned out ? but look
at 'em ! " And Josie's shoe, with the toe entirely
stubbed out, was held up to view.
I declare if, the remainder of that day, every
member of my own family, and every person of
my acquaintance didn't either want something
that I was expected to furnish, or else had unre-
deemed promises to remind me of ! I believe.it
is always thus.
Some one will probably suggest that no person
is excusable for attempting to take more of a
burden upon himself than he is able to carry.
Perhaps not ; but contact with the rough edges
of the world has taught me this much, that if
our poor, sick, and imbecile waited for the strong
and wealthy to take their cases in hand, they'd
wait. This woman and child I had accepted
as a direct present from the hand of God, and
UP BROADWAY. 75
if nothing else would do, I would divide with
her; but if not, it could be avoided, because, as
I looked at the flaxen heads ranged around, with
their toys and books, and noted their precious
youthful prattle, I understood my first duty.
And so I thought late into the night, and the
decision my heart and conscience arrived at was
to go begging next day, and raise money enough
to make the desired improvement in my friend's
I wonder if every one hates to beg as I do?
Once, in the extremest want, I was offered a so-
liciting position in a certain suburban church, for
which said church would fairly remunerate me.
I started, " solicited " just three times, and re-
turned to the worthy deacon with my letters of in-
troduction, saying, 'mid a storm of tears in which
I am forced to admit there was quite as much
temper as sorrow, " Sir, I am much obliged to
you ; but I'd rather starve, freeze, be burnt at the
stake, and suffer a pretty warm purgatory, and"
" Yes, my dear madam," he interrupted, well
understanding my vulnerable spot. "But your
76 UP BROADWAY.
"I don't care ! I'll put every one of them in an
orphan asylum, and take in house-cleaning, before
I'll do any more of it." And I walked from the
deacon's presence, without a dollar in my pocket.
The good man evidently thought me a proper
candidate for Bloomingdale.
I wonder how folks continually do so many
things from which their natures revolt ! I won-
der if it will always be so ! I wonder if we take
poverty and misery over the river with us 1
]HEEE was no time to be lost. My two
newly-assumed responsibilities must be
cared for, and that immediately ; so the
next morning I started for "Wall street on my
"soliciting" expedition. The men whom I
most relied upon for aid were not at their respec-
tive offices. " On the street," I was informed :
"Over to the Stock Exchange," "Be in pres-
ently;" and so I walked on to the corner of
Broad and Wall, and looked down on to the sea
of black hats in front of that elegant building
around which Bulls and Bears do congregate,
and wished that it were possible for soul to
speak to soul in some wordless electrical manner,
and that the owners of those beavers and felts
might be directed to file past the apple-stand,
by which I stood ruminating, and, sympathizing
with my great desire to aid the unfortunate,
place in my hands plentiful means for so doing ;
78 UP BROAD WAT.
and for a moment, forgetful of haste and neces-
sity, I stood gazing at the telegraph wires and
considering how news was transmitted from in-
dividual to individual, from state to state, and
from the new to the old world, and marvelling
at the genius and learning which had brought
the widely separated into such intimate and
glorious connection; and then I wondered why
a man or woman with quick, loving sympathies,
and moral earnestness, might not be a suffi-
ciently powerful battery to so act upon the in-
visible wires, which connect brain with brain and
heart with heart, as to make speech and solicitation
unnecessary. But the crowd kept up its auction-
eer-like howling, and I was nothing but a little
speck in the universe, a very important speck
in my own estimation, with no power to attract,
orreach the great heart of humanity, except
with my tongue, and that tiny member, gen-
erally willing to play its part in the great drama
of life, never felt less like wagging than on this
long-to-be-remembered occasion. I was grow-
ing metaphysical. That would never do. The
buxom old apple-woman, quite as deep in the
UP BROADWAY. 79
bustle of trade as her more reckless brother
down the street, looked at me wonderingly. I
walked on a few steps, and presently a cheery
" Good morning, Mrs. Kirk ; I am blessed if
I wasn't thinking of you just a moment ago!"
and a kind hand grasped mine. One of the in-
dividuals I was looking for, you see. " All well
at home, I hope," he continued. "Little folks
smart ? You look sad no trouble, I trust ? "
" We are all in usual health," I replied, " but
I came over this morning on purpose to see you.
Can you spare me five minutes at the office ? "
"Yes, my dear child, thirty of them, if you
will excuse me while I deposit this troublesome
stock. Dame Erie has been on a regular bender
this last week; old enough to know better, you
understand, but she keeps me stepping round
pretty lively ; walk right down to the office, and
Til be with you in a jiffy."
" I hope Erie has treated you very well," I
remarked as, a few moments after, he seated
himself by my side.
"What poor unfortunate is in a tight place
80 UP BROADWAY.
now?" he inquired, good-naturedly. "I know
somebody is in need, by the looks of your face.
Yes, Erie, the jilt, thanks to a bright eye to the
windward, has treated me uncommonly well ; and
now, tell me who's in trouble, and all about it.
It is rather curious that I should have been
thinking about you this morning."
I had only now to relate that part of my story
I had thought best to impart. The responsive
chord was struck without a word, and I was soon
in the midst of my narrative.
"Bless your heart, yes! made comfortable f
of course she shall be ! By George ! that is won-
derful ! I suppose there are hosts of just such
cases in this modern Sodom," he interrupted, as I
stopped to take breath. " Glad you came to me.
Let's see : how much money ought to do this ?
Have you made any calculation? Two hundred
dollars, eh ? That ought to fix things up a little,
I should think. Good gracious, the poor child is
actually weeping ! " as I turned my head to hide
the tears of thankfulness.
Two hundred dollars ! To have raised half
that sum I expected to have been compelled to
UP BROADWAY. 81
make at least' four "soliciting" visits, and what
wonder I was glad when begging was so distaste-
ful ! My friend did not begin to comprehend the
depth of my gratitude. How could he ? Con-
ventionalisms, as wicked as they are stupid, came
in to prevent any real heartfelt demonstrations ;
but he will know all about it some day, not
perhaps until we have both stepped over to the
great other side; but I'll show him then, see
if I don't. As I passed out he recalled me
"Look here ; I bought my sister, a year ago, a
real nice Wheeler and Wilson sewing-machine.
Her health is very delicate, and she is not able to
use it at all. If it would be of any service to her,
she can have it and welcome; and also all the
work of our family, that is, if she proves herself
a good and reliable seamstress, which I have no
doubt she will."
God hadn't opened that door wide. It was
not even ajar; no indeed! The portals were
thrown open and relief had come rolling in,
in a manner totally unexpected. It is perhaps
unnecessary to state that I accepted the ma-
82 HP BROADWAY.
chine, and with it more faith in God, and
more in humanity. I went my way rejoicing.
Yes, I mean it, more faith in God; although I
am aware that expression is not exactly ortho-
dox. A Christian's faith should be just as
bright through the clouds and pelting rain,
through the thunder-storms of trouble, through
death and disaster, as when the sunshine of
happiness irradiates arid makes glad the soul;
at least, I suppose it should be, but I cannot
make it seem exactly natural. Wouldn't it be
nice to take a peep behind the great black cur-
tain, and see what it all means ?
I found my friend anxiously awaiting my
arrival, her dark eyes full of that new light of-
hope and determination which had dawned for
the first time the day before. I went about my
little comforts and improvements with as light a
heart as if this tumble-down old shanty had
been an establishment on Fifth avenue, and I
its proprietor. It was the home of virtue and
peace, and I hoped to make it one of content-
HA YE been asked several times by those
who have become interested in this story,
how I dared trust the woman I was
striving to assist, and if I felt no misgivings as to
her ability to keep the promise she had made me.
To all I would say that no doubt of her desire to
lead a different life ever entered my head from
the first moment I laid my eyes on her face, and
it would have made no difference in my endeavors
had I been suspicious of failure. You who are
sceptical in regard to the reformation of such,
select a case and do your best with it, and if you
do not discover a host of things to love and res-
pect in the object of your solicitude, your
experience will be vastly different from mine,
I had left my friend comfortable, and my next
move was to purchase some plain, tasteful dresses
for both mother and child, and prepare the latter
84 UP BROADWAY.
for a good public school, which she was extremely
anxious to attend. "What with my own work and
the delay of shopping, it was some three or four
days before I found it convenient to call again.
Early one morning I was surprised by a visit
from my little protege.
" Why, Mary," said I, as the child ran into my
room, " I am glad to see you ; but what is the
matter ? "
The darling's eyes were red and swollen from
weeping, and her whole manner gave evidence of
great mental excitement.
" Oh," she answered, " mother is very sick ; I
don't know what ails her ! She was all right till
yesterday. See what she made for me out of
one of the dresses you brought ; don't it look
nice ? " and the little one displayed the neatly-
fitting calico with a pride which did my heart
good to witness. " It is a long time since mother
sewed a stitch for me. I hope these wont be
the last now," and the poor over-wrought child
broke completely down.
" Tell me all about it, dear, and then Lwill get
ready and go home with you." After a little I
UP BROADWAY. 85
listened to tlie following, which I will give in her
own words as nearly as I can remember :
" I thought mother was going to be happy now,
we had got things so nice; but she has looked
sadder than ever, and I couldn't get her to talk
much ; but she kept to work until last night, and
then, all of a sudden, fell over in her chair. Oh
dear ! I thought she was dying ! I tried to lift
her up, but she was too heavy. I bathed her
^ace with cold water, and after a little she roused
up and said : i Oh, Mary ! Mary ! you poor little
outcast ! if I die, promise me that you will find
your father.' Oh, my dear Mrs. Kirk!" .and
now the child's arms were around my neck. " I
hope that God will forgive me, for I was very
wicked to my poor sick mother, but, when she
said that 'find my father' I thought I should
have died for very madness. You see I always
knew that I must have had a father, and I also
knew that he wasn't dead ; and from little things
here and there, I got it into my head that he left
my mother because he got tired of her, or some-
thing else ; and then to have her ask me to find
him if she died was a little too much for this
child, and I told her that I'd be torn into inch
86 UP BROADWAY.
pieces first. Find a man who would leave his
wife and child to starve ! " and the dark eyes
flashed forth a light which transformed the little
one into an earnest, impassioned, determined
"But, child," said I, "you surely didn't say
those bitter things to your mother, and she so
sick, did you ? "
"Yes, I did," she replied, dashing away the
tears, " yes, I did, and that's what I am sorry
for ; because I expect she didn't half know what
she was talking about, and ever since she has
kept straight at it. Her hands are hot as fire,
and so is her head. I got old Mother Thurston
to sit with her while I came over for you."
"Mary," said I, taking the child's trembling
fingers in mine, " have you the least idea who
your father is ? "
" No, ma'am," she replied ; " and more than
that, I don't want to have. It seems to me,
ma'am, and I can't get it out of my head, that he
is the cause of all the dreadful trouble we have
had, and I hate him ! TVont you please to tell
me what you think about it ? "
" I know more, perhaps, about the circumstances
UP BROADWAY. 87
than you do, my dear," I replied, striving to
suppress all emotion, and impressed with the
necessity of imparting some idea of the past to
the little one. Ever since I had listened to the
woman's sad story, a feeling of pity had stolen
into my heart for the man who had wrought this
great misery. I could not rid myself of it, nor,
to save my life, bring myself to feel that he was
as recklessly guilty as the facts seemed to warrant.
That he loved the mother of this little one, I
knew. From her own description I realized that
the affection was not merely an animal or sensual
one. It appeared to me that, suffering from the
effect of an unhappy marriage, with an aching
heart and a hungry soul, he had met this beauti-
ful girl, fallen desperately in love, and believed
that, with his wondrous wealth and the great
love she felt for him, he could keep the matter
of his first matrimonial experience secret. I re-
alized, too, that it was a dastardly act for any one
to be guilty of, but I pitied him nevertheless.
So I said to the little one, scarcely conscious of
the import of my words : " My dear, never let
me hear you say again that you hate your father.
I do not know who he is, or where he is, but I
88 UP BROADWAY.
know lie does not hate you, and I believe that
had he known where to have found you all these
years, you would not have been left to suffer so ;
and more than all, child, I am strongly led to
believe that you will be very proud of him one
of these days."
The child hung her head for a moment, and
then replied, while her eyes twinkled with pleas-
ure : " What a funny lady you are. I have got
something in my pocket I want to show you.
I wasn't going to, because I thought maybe it
would be doing mother a wrong. I can't read or
write much, but mother cries over this every
night ; I've caught her at it lots of times."
I took the note, soiled with frequent usage,
and read, while my heart almost stopped beating.
It was simply an affectionate excuse for not
returning at the promised time. It was signed
" Your own Charles," and under this was written
in the woman's own chirography "Alia -
a name with which I was almost as familiar
as with my own. A name representing money,
philanthropy, position, and all sorts of good
things. A man of whom I had never heard
the first whisper of. evil.
HAT'S the matter, please?" inquired
Mary, noticing my surprise. "Is that
anybody you know ? Do tell rne quick ! "
she continued, imploringly. " You don't half feel
how mother's strange actions hurt me. There
are two or three things she has cried over ever
since I can remember, and now they are driving
her mad. You understand what all this means ;
do tell me. I am not a little girl like other little
girls you are acquainted with. I never was a
child; that is, I never cared to play and romp like
other children. I never had but one thought,
and that was, i What is the matter with mother \ '
and if you don't tell me, I shall die / indeed I
The little one's voice trembled with emotion,
and tears filled her brilliant eyes. I dared not
impart to her my suspicions, or rather my knowl-
90 UP BROADWAY.
edge; and, after a little evasion, I managed to
quiet the child. " I know nothing, Mary, for a
certainty," I answered. "Your mother has not
given me her confidence, and I am simply doing
a good deal of guessing, that is all. You must
have patience and wait. It seems to me the
clouds are breaking, and, as I have told you
before, child though you are, the severest of your
trials have been passed."
" But if mother should die, what could there
be in life for me ? " she sobbed. " I have often
prayed that we both might walk out of this cruel
world together ; but now that things seem to look
as if we could live a little bit like decent folks,
I did hope there would be no more trouble.
I should think whose ever business it is to punish
me would be about tired by this time, for I've
had nothing but kicks and cuffs ever since I was
born till you came and fixed us all up, and
mother stopped going out nights and doing the
things that made my heart ache, and I began to
be what 1 never was before, happy ; and no sooner
had I commenced to enjoy myself than something
else dreadful turns up. Mother is crazy."
UP BROADWAY. 91
It was no use to quote passages of Scripture to
this precocious child, no use to attempt to admin-
ister comfort in any ordinary method. She could
not be made to understand discipline, as taught
by professed Christians of the present day. She
was guiltless of intentional wrong: why should
she be punished ? So, with the little one's hand
tightly clasped in mine, I sought once more the
abode of my friend. To say that I was startled
at the change a few days had accomplished does
not half express the state of my feelings. As we
entered, she turned her face toward the door and
smiled. A single spot of scarlet burned on each
che.ek, making the remainder of the face still
more pallid by contrast. Her long, abundant
hair had been released from its coil to relieve
the heated brain, and now it rippled over the
pillow, giving a weird, almost angelic, appearance
to the woman, who seemed, as I examined her
condition carefully, to be hovering on the con-
fines of the Eternal City.
" I am so glad you have come !" she said, " so
glad ! I dreamed that you had left me forever."
"What a stupid dream, to be sure ! " I answered,
92 UP BROADWAY.
assuming an indifference I was far from feeling.
"You are feverish, Mary. I think you must
have taken cold. How long have you felt so
"Oh, all along," she murmured; "but then
some way I have never allowed my feelings to
get the mastery of me until now. I strove
against it for your sake, indeed I did; but it
would come. I thought to get to work, and
hoped to do well, so that you could see how
thankful I was for all your kindness, but it was
no use ; I shall never again be fit for anything
but the grave ; and for all our sakes, I wish death
would come quickly."
" My dear child," said I, gravely, " you are
certainly the most ungrateful member of my
family. You should not have dared to get ill.
Have you any new trouble ? " and I took the
thin, burning hand in mine, and tried to soothe
the over- wrought .nerves.
" It is my brain," she replied, drawing my
hand to her forehead. "The part of me that
thinks, dear. Some way, since I knew that we
were provided for, and that Mary hadn't to suffer
UP BROADWAY. 93
for something to eat, I have had more time to
think, and it almost kills me. The past is dread-
ful. How much better it would have been for
me and her," pointing to the child, who sat on
the bed, her eyes full of tears, " if I had, when
so sorely oppressed, folded her a little closer to
my heart and jumped overboard! God would
have forgiven it, I am sure ; but now there is
nothing for me here or hereafter. A few weeks
of madness, and then the miserable flicker will
be quenched forever."
" Desperate means for desperate cases," I re-
peated mentally, realizing that something must
be done, and that speedily, or I should never be
able to rouse her from the condition which, after
all, was an extremely natural one, the only won-
der being that she had not succumbed before.
"Of whom have you been thinking?" I in-
quired, softly, still retaining the hot hand, " for
the last few hours ? " Again that wan smile, and
she whispered, " Oh ! of him, you know ? "
" Yes, I know," was my reply.
" How can I help it ? Sometimes I think," she
continued, "that I acted too hastily in leaving
94 UP BROADWAY.
him the day that dreadful woman came there.
His last words were that he loved me, and I know
I loved him, and oh ! my Father ! I love him
now. I wonder if, by and by, after God is sat-
isfied of my sincere repentance for all I have
done amiss, he will let me join hands with him
and be his friend ? Why, I would be willing to
wait a thousand years."
More than one severe struggle for calmness I
have had during my most eventful life, but this
was the most difficult of all. An indescribable
something urged me on, and yet, as I looked into
her sunken eyes, the idea which had such
thorough control of my faculties seemed utterly
impracticable. Still, I could not be quiet.
" Why don't you talk to me like you used ? "
she queried, peeping into my face. "You are
discouraged, and I don't wonder."
" Not a bit of it ! " said I. " Why, bless your
heart, this reaction is no more than a philosopher
would have expected." But I was busy with my
thoughts. " Mary, you think you have guarded
your secret admirably, don't you ? I respect the
feeling which has made you so careful ; but, my
UP BROADWAY. 95
dear, Mr. is not unknown to me."
Oh, if you could have seen her 1 I had hit the
right nail that time.
"How came you? What have I ever done?
Where did you find it out? That name never
escaped my lips. Oh! my God! what shall I
do?" and she threw herself away and groaned
aloud. " You would not tell ! " she shrieked,
" you would not dare to tell ! "
" Never, my dear child, shall the name escape
my lips, if you do not desire it. But let me
tell you one thing. He is a man of whom I
never heard one evil word spoken. A man who
has the respect of the entire community. Kow,
Mary, something must be done. If he ever
cared for you, and I am inclined to think he did,
he cannot have quite forgotten you."
"Hush now! hush! stop it! not a word!"
she almost screamed. "Don't you ever dare!
He took me as his mistress when he already had
a wife. Was there any honor about that ? !N"o,
indeed! A man of whom you never heard an
evil word! Does society ever say anything of
men who commit such terrible sins as these?
96 UP BROADWAY.
Oh no ! they are always ' honorable ' ! and yet I
loved him, love him still ; but don't you dare,
don't you dare, I say, ever utter a word of this ! "
My first point had been gained. There was
something new to be thought about, and I had
no fear of insanity just then. So, after a few
words of sympathy, I bade her "good-by."
Promising to come again soon, I left her to call
on the man who had wrought this accumulation
seemed to me, as I left the bedside of
the sufferer and walked down the rickety
old stairway into the street, that my feet
scarcely touched the ground. I felt like one up-
borne, upheld a sort of spiritual exhilaration I
had never before experienced. I was conscious
of a mighty presence, a wonderful power that
made me strong and calm, strangely controlling
my actions. I do not pretend to account for this.
Most of my readers have probably been simi-
larly acted upon in some portion of their lives.
What would I not give, what would I not sacri-
fice, to push aside the curtain, and observe how
that was accomplished! "Nervously suscepti-
ble," says one; "large clairvoyant powers,"
says another; "a spiritual medium," exclaims
still another. As I look back upon the singular
98 UP BROADWAY.
developments of that day alone, I am lost in
wonder and amazement; and confess myself just
as ignorant of the modus operandi of the con-
cealed wire-pulling of that occasion, as the
veriest child who reads these pages. So, call it
what you please, account for it, each one, by
his or her pet theory : it is all of that and more
beside to me ; for it makes me certain of a
glorious by and by ; of loving arms all ready to
hold me close; of a Father, lover, and friends;
of a heaven where Mary can revel in the purity
of her first love, and where you and I may see
the crooked tilings of this life made straight.
Just consider a place where mistakes are recti-
fied, angularities rounded off, causes explained,
and love our eternal food. Oh, for one draught
from that fountain !
As I walked "Up Broadway," determined to
get at the depths of the affair that had so long
and painfully occupied me, I seemed to meet an
entirely different set of people from those who
generally promenade this metropolitan thorough-
fare. A kind light shone from every eye, a sort
of "God bless you" trembled upon every lip; and
UP BROADWAY, 99
as I stopped a moment to take breath, and try-
to explain these singular sensations, a cheery
voice sang out,
"And is it yerself, my dear lady, that can be
telling a poor feller, who has lost his way, the
straight road to Houston street, sure ? "
" Houston street ? oh, yes, sir ! " I replied, en-
deavoring to bring myself down to the practical
place, from whence issued this pleasant voice.
"Houston street is two blocks above," and I
pointed in the right direction.
" Thank you, ma'am ; thank you, ma'am," he
replied, touching his hat respectfully. "I'm
much obliged to ye, sure; but is it out o' the
clouds ye dropped? for upon the honor of an
Irishman, ye have no look like the other folks
round here. It wouldn't take a wizard to tell
that it is not of yerself ye are thinking to-day.
God bless you, ma'am, whatever ye are about."
This was a God-speed I had not reckoned upon,
and it served a double purpose: first, in bring-
ing me down to the concert pitch and a more
thorough realization of the peculiar errand I had
started upon, and next, it assured me of success.
100 CT-P BROAD WA Y.
That hearty, "God bless you, ma'am," rings in
my ears still, and yet my Celtic friend was utter-
ly unconscious of having said or done a pleasant
thing. I cannot but think that he was a part
of that day's programme, and no insignificant
part either. By the time I arrived at my desti-
nation, I was conscious that my errand might
be construed, by the man I had determined to
have an audience with, into a piece of imperti-
nence ; but that did not deter me. I was a little
less dreamy and poetical, but not a whit less
resolved upon accomplishing my purpose. I
reached the establishment, entered, and looked
carefully around to see if the object of my
search was present. Nowhere, to be sure. I
don't think my voice trembled a particle as I
handed my card to an usher ; but the letters
which made up "Eleanor Kirk," so plainly em-
bossed upon the enamelled pasteboard, seemed
dancing a jig. "Be kind enough to give this
to Mr. , and tell him that the lady awaits
a private interview."
The man gave me a scrutinizing look, as
much as to say, " Some woman with an agency,
UP BROADWAY. 101
or worse still, on a begging expedition. You
wont see Mr. to-day," and walked rapidly
away. He returned in a moment and said,
" Mr. wishes to know the nature of your
business; unless it is exceedingly important, he
cannot see you, as he is especially engaged at
I took another card, wrote on the back: "A
matter of life and death ; a leaf from the past,"
inclosed it in an envelope, and waited. I was
not at all surprised when the usher returned
and politely bade me follow him. Something
kept saying to my heart, which throbbed in my
bosom like a young earthquake (I suppose it
was my own spiritualized self) " Keep down ;
God is with you; hosts of angels are helping
you in this. Be steadfast!" and in a moment
I stood in the presence of the man who had
wrought the terrible desolation I had just left.
My first thought, as I scanned this really noble
countenance (for I had never had an opportunity
of observing him so closely before) was, "Mary,
I do not wonder that your young heart went
out towards this man; do not wonder that you
102 WP BROAD WA Y.
forsook father and mother, and for his dear sake
lived among strangers; do not wonder at your
wild idolatry," and then, with these thoughts
chasing each other in quick succession through
my brain, I stood looking him straight in the
eye, without a single word.
"Mrs. or Miss Kirk?" he observed, politely
extending his hand, and drawing a chair for me
to be seated. Still, I stood like one suddenly
struck dumb. Oh! if I could only write out
the sermon that came to me on that occasion,
I should be doing a good for humanity ; but the
ideas will not shape themselves into language,
and I suppose I shall be compelled to carry it
round in my soul until well, who knows when?
But it is there, and must sometime have an
airing. I placed my hand in his, and in a
twinkling, realized that he comprehended my
errand. The soul-telegraph had done its mighty
work; and, without more ado (laugh if you
please, call it "woman fashion," if you have a
mind), I burst into an uncontrollable fit of sob-
bing, in which doubt all who may, but the fact
is as true as that I am now trying to describe that
UP BROADWAY. 103
gcene my companion joined, and this without
a word having been spoken. Heaven and earth
are full of mysteries, but this episode of my life
is the most mysterious of all.
TTAVK always noticed when men and
women are similarly affected by sudden
grief, in case of death, or other be-
reavements, that women are the first to recover
composure. Now, as far as 1 have observed
and I have tried to discriminate clearly and con-
scientiously the good and bad are about equally
distributed, and the counterpart of every wicked
man may be found in the opposite sex.
This, I know, will be questioned by many radi-
cal reformers, who are somehow determined to
see no virtue or decency among the fathers of the
nation. The memory of my father God bless
him ! is just as dear to me as that of my mother,
and in sympathy and tenderness I believe he was
really her equal. Through the numberless ills
of childhood, his loving arms encompassed me.
Life was dreary, indeed, after he was called
UP BROADWAY. 105
It has so happened that in my strange and
wearisome pilgrimage, my soul has been cheered
by kind-hearted, pure-minded, honor-loving mem-
bers of the proscribed sex ; and I never hear them
denounced, as I have lately had occasion to, by
women who, if their own statements are to be
credited, must have possessed demons for fathers,
brothers, and husbands, without feeling that the
denouncers are not only shockingly ignorant in
regard to natural laws, but also deficient in good,
sterling common sense. Why a father should be
of less consequence to a child than that child's
mother, or his good name less to be considered, is
something I cannot yet understand. But what I
started to say was this : that the reason women
generally recover themselves more quickly is, that
care-taking belongs especially to them. The bear-
ing and rearing of children tends to develop this
quality, and therefore, the consideration of others,
if not the first thought, generally follows closely
in its wake. Now I had not the remotest inten-
tion of reading a homily upon the virtues of the
race, or of attempting to explain the difference
between the natures and dispositions of the sexes ;
106 UP BROAD WA T.
but it seems to me that women should be exceed-
ingly careful how they attempt to underrate the
masculine element ; and it appears to me also,
that women are quite as much to blame for the
laxity of morals among men as men themselves.
Did women but turn their backs upon known
roues and libertines did they but set the same
value upon virtue and nobility of character that
they do upon wealth and social position, the attain-
ment of their God-given rights would then be
There is nothing on earth that so unnerves me
as to see a strong man in tears. I had dried my
own eyes, and with my hand still in that of the
stranger, waiting for him to recover composure,
these thoughts chased themselves swiftly through
my brain. It is astonishing how much one may
think in an instant of time. Social requirements,
conventionalities, privileges, each and all took on
distinct and aggravated forms ; and without the
least supernatural prescience, I was enabled per-
fectly to understand the route which the individ-
ual before me had travelled to reach this port of
misery and humiliation.
UP BROADWAY. 107
" Pity him ? " Yes, with my whole soul ; just
as much, and just as unreservedly as though the
sufferer had been one of my own sex. As I stood
(I must confess it) a little out of patience with
myself for allowing my heart to go out thus spon-
taneously to a man who had been the cause of the
downfall and degradation of one of my sisters,
this little sentence was wafted into my soul
"All one in Christ Jesus ; " and that settled it.
After that my hand was passive until he was
ready to relinquish it.
" Come now," said I, " let's be seated, and talk
this matter over immediately," and I straightened
myself up, wiped my eyes for the fortieth time,
and endeavored to assume a practical ^ manner,
which I imagined must be adopted with the grief-
stricken man, but which I was very far from feel-
ing. Not that I felt in the least like shirking the
responsibility 'thus voluntarily assumed that
wasn't it ; but I did feel strangely like managing
the case my own way, and it seemed to me that
wouldn't do. I have learned better since ; have
found that an impulse is oftentimes a genuine
inspiration; and that the man or woman who
108 UP BROAD WA K
pushes impulse one side, because Whately or
some other man condemns impulse as contrary to
true logical deduction that person crowds out
the divinest part of his nature.
" I cannot be mistaken," he said, with a desper-
ate effort to be calm, " in regard to your errand-
Oh ! if you only knew what a load of wretched-
ness I have carried round with me all these years
if you only knew " and here the poor fellow
broke down again.
" Good God ! " he moaned, now rising and
pacing the room distractedly. " "What a life ! and
what a wretch ! Tell me, and tell me quickty
tell me this instant" now seizing both my
hands and drawing me to the centre of the room.
" Where is she ? Is she alive 1 Don't, I implore
you don't tell me I may never look upon her
face again ! If you have come with her dying
message her precious last words leave me
without uttering them. As Heaven is my judge,
I could not bear it ! Talk about the tortures of
the damned," he continued, more to himself than
to me. " Have I not endured them ? and all be-
cause of love God-given love, as pure as angels
UP BROAD WA T. 109
may feel ! It was love, so help me Heaven, it
was love that brought all this desolation upon us ;
and now she is dead dead and you have come
to tell me so! For pity's sake, why don't you
" I shall have two lunatics on my hands pretty
soon, if you do not control yourself, my dear sir,"
I replied, a strange calm suddenly flooding my
" Two lunatics ?" he repeated, catching at the
words with wonderful rapidity, and drawing a
chair close to mine.
" You are smiling, Mrs. Kirk ! Why, your
face looks like the face of heaven after a thunder
shower! You couldn't smile if she was dead.
You couldn't smile if you knew that such news
would cause me to blow my brains out ! Two
lunatics ? Mary is not in a mad-house ! That
can't be ! But that would be better than have
her dead, because I could bring her to her reason !
Ay, my love could do that ! She is alive. Yes,
I know she is, by 'your face ! Tell me where I
may find her," and the eager eyes were fixed
HO HP BROADWAY.
upon mine with a magnetism which was irresis-
" Mary is alive," I replied, and then waited a
" Bless God ! " he ejaculated. " Oh ! how un-
tiringly I have searched for her, always to be
" Mary is alive," I continued, " and in the pos-
session of her senses, bat very ill."
" Tell me, Mrs. Kirk, that she is not danger-
ously ill ; and for God's sake let me go to her at
once." And the man rushed frantically for his
" But you are in no condition to go into
the street," I continued. " Mary is ill, but I
think, if you will listen to me for a few moments,
I can arrange matters so that you may be able to
do her a great deal of good ; I do not consider
her dangerously ill, and I know that joy seldom
kills ; so please be quiet for a little."
" God bless you for ever and ever," he cried.
" I am a happy man already.'
ilHAT a charm there is in silence ! What
a charm in sympathetic communion!
"What untold, indescribable happiness in
feeling that one has accomplished a little good,
and that good appreciated. For weeks I had
been quietly and persistently at work, endeav-
ring to benefit the real, time wife of the man I
was then sitting by the side of, whose fine
eyes seemed to look into my soul and seek
the depths of the motives which had actuated
me in this case.
Please don't, at this stage of the proceedings,
confound terms; because that would scarcely
be fair. I say " true wife " for two reasons :
the first because of that delightful and glorious
blending of soul, that perfect adaptability of
mental and physical which goes to make a
genuine and God-instituted marriage ; and the
112 UP BROADWAY.
second, because, at the time, she honestly con-
sidered herself such. My organ of veneration
is not perhaps as large as it would be had I
moulded the bump to suit my own ideas of a
healthy and well-formed phrenological develop-
ment; but there is one thing which my head
and heart instinctively bow to, and that is the
power of love. That the man beside me had
been guilty of a terrible wrong, there was no
way of dodging, and yet I found myself very
busy making excuses for him. He had sinned,
and sinned for love's sake, and love and I were
on the best of terms; and so I contrasted him
with wretches I had seen and heard of, who
without an atom of affection for those they
had selected for their lustful designs, wooed,
won, and cast aside. I suddenly grew metaphys-
ical, and considered the philosophy of love
love in its elemental and diviner sense and
had almost arrived at the sphere where no
other kind is admissible, where the boodage
of clay is forgotten, or if necessarily remembered,
with a joy next akin to ecstacy, that the disci-
HP BROAD WA Y. 113
pline has past when my companion remarked
in a low tone,
"My dear madam, have you quite made up
your mind in regard to my case? Your eyes
have pierced my very soul. It really seeems to
me that there is not a thought there but you
have seen and commented upon. I was think-
ing," he continued, still in the low, mellifluous
tones, which appeared an index to the man's
sweetness and nobility of disposition, " that
you must, of a necessity, consider me just the
scamp I have proved myself to be, and yet
your expression is merciful in the extreme.
Tell me, can you understand a love so deep
so high, so boundless, as to preclude all possi-
bility of any other feeling a sensation so
all-absorbing, that prudence, propriety, and all
human laws are, if not set at defiance, quite
ignored ? Oh ! if I could only make you under-
stand that this was the feeling I had for
Mary! Why, my dear woman, so all-absorbing
was it that I had no room for anything else
except, well, except" and here the low tones
grew almost indistinct, and then ceased alto-
114: UP BROADWAY.
getlier. Just at that very moment I was won-
dering why he had not spoken of his child.
Could it be he had forgotten her existence? or
was he purposely waiting for me? There was
the soul-telegraph again; and although the poor
fellow's manner was anxious and flurried, the
nerves of his face twitching with the intensity
of the effort to appear calm, I could not refrain
from smiling as the wonderful power of soul
communication was again brought home to me.
There we sat, looking into each other's faces,
saying, oh, so little, for our hearts were too
full for utterance, and yet our souls were just
as sociable as though they had been on intimate
terms ever since their creation. To be a
brilliant conversationalist is certainly the ne
plus ultra of accomplishments, but to be able
to talk sensibly and brilliantly without words
of a verity, transcends that; but then there are
so few whose magnetism will allow of this
perfect and glorious understanding. "Why
do you smile, Mrs. Kirk?" was the next ques-
tion, asked with quivering lip.
"Because, dear sir, the metaphysical part of
UP BROADWAY. 115
this strange experience pleases me to such a
wonderful extent that I cannot help it. We
seem to be, as the Spiritualists say, perfectly
en rapport; and now you would have me tell
you of your little girl your dear little girl,
the dearest little girl of my acquaintance, the
one who first took me to your your wife."
Oh! how I wish you who read this, you
whose sympathies are with both these sufferers,
could have looked into the face of my com-
panion, as I uttered those words ! For a mo-
ment he did not speak, then leaning forward
inquired almost in a whisper, "How big is
Comprehending the depth of feeling which
sought expression in this extremely common-
place inquiry, I replied, " About so big," raising
my arm to the little one's height.
"Is she healthy, and strong, and bright?,"
was the next question, in the same eager tones.
A vision of the little one as I had first seen her,
curled up on the steps of the Central National,
shivering with cold, and almost starved, was
brought distinctly before my mind's eye. Just
116 UP BROAD WA T.
to think of it the daughter of one of our
most favored metropolitan merchants, in want
of the commonest necessaries of life ! The child
of love too, and perfect confidence ! What could
it all mean? Why the necessity of such tor-
ture to one of God's little ones? The child,
with her bright, beautiful eyes, glaring at me
from their framework of long, tangled hair,
her naive, almost brusque manner, wonderful
logic of her reasoning, the wit, which contact
with the rough edges of the world had made
as keen as a two-edged sword, all came back
to me, and I replied, with a perfect knowledge
of my subject, "Yes sir, she is healthy, and
strong, and bright." I could not bring my,
self to tell him the thoughts which were thus
uppermost in my mind. "Let the past pass in
review slowly," was my mental determination,
endeavoring to evade the eyes which, somehow,
would persist in their steadfast inspection.
"Will you tell me how my little daughl
looks? " was the next query. "Like her moth<
or father ? "
"Yery much like both," I made an*
HP BROADWAY. 117
" She has her mother's features with your ex-
pression; and really it is extremely hard to tell
which she most resembles."
" And will you be kind enough to inform me
where you first met her ; how it happened that
you became interested in my darlings ? I see
that you are fearful of wounding my feelings
by too frank an explanation of circumstances."
There it was again ; more telegraphing. The
science of clairvoyance had always been a
pleasant study to me, although I had never
learned to discriminate where clairvoyance began
and a vivid imagination ended. To place implicit
reliance upon the phenomena I had seen and
heard described savored of over-credulity, and
that I might not be too easily swayed by the
mysterious and apparently unexplainable, I had
always compelled myself to stop and reason
sternly upon every subject presented. It was
not wonderful that my companion should imag-
ine, or rather suspect a great many dreadful
things in reference to the woman and child so
long separated from him ; but it was wonderful
118 UP BROADWAY.
that his mind should thus closely follow mine.
So far there had been no mistake.
" My little one was cold and hungry when you
found her. Aye I you need not answer, your eyes
brimming with tears is enough for me. My God ;
my baby suffering for food and for shelter ! and
she was begging ! I see that too ! "
Immediately my thoughts flew to the mother,
and the condition I had found her in, when taken
home by the child ; the recumbent figure in the
corner, the tawdry finery hanging around, and
the proof I received from the woman's own lips
of the business she was engaged in. I was not in
the least surprised that he should follow me here ;
and I trembled in every limb, as he inquired, still
with those eager eyes looking into my soul,
" Where was Mary, then ? "
" At home, sir," I replied, determined that this
time I would insist upon that soul of mine keep-
ing one secret, and I felt that this was not the
time or place for full particulars.
ilHERE has not been a night since Mary
left me, but I have dreamed of her and
my little one. So tall " and the man
stretched out his hand as if in spirit he already
covered her precious head. "Mary told you, I
suppose, about my other babe? She died five
years ago, and " here the low tones ceased
entirely, and again, for a moment, the storm of
sorrow swept over his head "since then I have
been utterly adrift."
I longed to ask him about the wife which the
laws of the land declared his, but somehow I
could not form the necessary sentence. "What
right had I, I asked myself, to again bring this
man and woman together, supposing, as I most
certainly did, that the same insurmountable
barrier existed which had kept them apart all
these years? and then, supposing this first wife
120 UP BROADWAY.
no longer lived, what reason had I for thinking
that he would so far set aside all previous exam-
ples as to marry a fallen woman, even though he
was the only one responsible for such downfall ?
" Have you not gone a trifle too far ? " suggested
that " still, small voice," which, until now, I had
been too excited to notice. "What is going
to come out of this ? Has Davy Crockett's " Be
sure you're right, and then go ahead," had any
influence in bringing about this remarkable and
partial finale, or have you been swayed by im-
pulse, and impulse alone?" How many times
have I heard parents say to children, and friend
to friend, " Decide this question entirely by the
head. Do not allow your heart to have the least
voice in the matter." This then seemed like
good counsel ; but I have decided since that the
opinions which the head without the heart arrives
at, or the heart without the head, are diametrically
opposed to the logic of Christianity. " But have
you not been overwhelmingly governed by
heart ? Tell me, what has sound common sense,
which is the foundation of true reasoning, had to
do with the visit to this merchant ? " continued
TIP BROAD WA Y. 121
the voice tantalizingly, and without more ado I
went to work settling the torment. In a second,
the head, which had been seemingly ignored in
the transaction, came in with a squelcher.
" There is no necessity of laying down premises
to prove myself correct. Mary and the man
before you love each other as fondly as it is
possible for man and w r oman to love. Their
affection has stood the test of time and separation ;
and now it is none of your business whether
or no the legal partner still lives, or whether
protracted inharmony has resulted in divorce.
Your duty lies with the fact that a sister is dying
for the love it is in your power to give her.
" Shall she ask for bread, and be given a stone ? "
" But this is not logic ! " says the reader. " You
confess yourself in favor of a monogamic mar-
riage, and now you are showing that love
is the only test that can be applied to such
unions ! Of a verity, this is a contradiction."
Life is full of contradictions and seeming
inconsistencies, my friend; and yet, after all,
many are more honest in the expression of dif-
ferent opinions, at different times, on the same
122 UP BROADWAY.
subject, than we give them credit for. That
laws for the government of humanity are abso-
lutely necessary, no one in the possession of
his senses can dispute ; but it is not possible
for one man, or a set of men, to frame laws
which can be made applicable to every case.
This merchant had committed a sin against the
law when he allowed the flood-tide of love to
render him oblivious to that law. Still, this very-
love, the divinest part of his nature, was, from
the very reason of that divinity, a million times
purer, and more powerful, than any statute that
the brain of mortal can ever frame. Now, this
was head-work ; and as I scanned again the
noble features of my companion, went over again
the cruel years which had deprived him of all
he held dear, the head was reverently bowed
bowed, as it always must be, to the omnipotence
of love. I've liked my head better ever since
the bringing in of that verdict. It evinced a
harmony of feeling and action which argued
well for future quandaries.
""What a wretch I have been!" he resumed,
after a moment's quiet. "If you would only
UP BROADWAY. 123
tell me how I can ever atone for the wrong done
Mary and my child, I shall be so glad ; but there
really seems no way. I honestly believed when
I took her as my own (God bless the darling !
she was my own, is my own, cherished as I
think few men can cherish a woman), that I
should be able to keep the manner of my living
a profound secret until well, until I might
as well make a clean breast of it the wife the
law had given me was removed. I had no idea
of a divorce ; I knew that a separation of that
description could never part us, because, demon-
like, she would pursue me, and make my life,
thus parted, more wretched than ever. Her tem-
per was most violent entirely uncontrollable.
When in one of her terrible fits of passion, which
she was at all times subject to, I was compelled
to be ever on the defensive, and, in order to save
my own life, would often be obliged to hold her
hands until the frenzy spent itself, and she would
lie back weak and sometimes penitent. It was a
species of insanity, I have no doubt, but none the
less terrible to bear. This incessant strain upon
the nervous system brought about heart disease,
124: VP BROADWAY.
which her physician pronounced incurable, and
likely at any time to terminate her existence.
Just remember, madam, that we had never taken
a moment's real comfort in each other's society ;
that, from children, our fathers, from some ridic-
ulous family compact, had determined upon our
marriage ; and that these insane ebullitions of
temper had been carefully concealed from us,
and you will be able to form some idea of my
position when love, the real, genuine article,
came to me. I could not refrain from possessing
the dear child, and, to do this, I resorted to
subterfuge and occasional falsehood. What
would I not give to be able to blot out the
dreadful past ? But come, is it not time to go ?
Perhaps my course will be plainer, after having
once more confessed my sin and sorrow."
" Then, you have no children living save little
Mary?" I queried, hoping to get at other infor-
"]Nb, my friend, she is all; God bless the
darling ! My wife lived just six months after
Mary left me, and "
" What ! your wife dead ? I interrupted.
UP BROADWAY. 125
Then you are free from all restraint, free from all
legal ties, free to do just as your heart . dictates !
Thank God !" I almost shrieked, so relieved that
I could not help the expression.
" And were you unacquainted with the fact ? "
he inquired, while a look of perplexity was
" Entirely so," I answered, with a long-drawn
sigh of relief.
" But how did you dare approach me if un-
aware of my liberty ? Were you ready to set at
defiance the conventionalities of society, and
allow love to be heard in this case? or what
were your ideas ? "
"I think I had no very definite ideas on the
subject," I replied. "I knew that Mary was
perishing, and that you could do her good ; and
I came to you, I think, because I couldn't help
it. A will stronger than my own sent me. But
I am really overjoyed to know that hereafter
everything may be carried on without dissimu-
lation." I could not but be struck with the
gentleness, as well as the genuine fortitude dis-
played by my companion. Tears stood in his
126 UP BROADWAY.
large dark eyes tears impossible to hide, yet
there was a strange calmness in his manner,
which surprised and pleased me. I felt instinc-
tively that I could trust him in the interview
which was so soon to take place between him
and the woman from whom he had been so long
" Now, if you think best, Mrs. Kirk, we will
go," he continued quietly. " I do not think my
appearance will attract observation ; do you ? "
and there was in the pleasant tone, so much of
friendliness, and real trust in my desire and
ability to be of assistance, that my heart grew
warmer and my sympathies stronger.
" My friend," said I, rising, thus expressing
my willingness to depart, "do not, I beg of
you, appear surprised at anything you may see
in the place to which I shall take you. You
have probably never entered a house so misera-
bly squalid in appearance as the house where
your Mary is compelled to reside ; although she
is now provided with every comfort.
" So bad as that ? " he queried. " Well ! let
UP BROAD WA T. 127
us go, or I fear I shall not have strength enough
to take me there."
Just then a rap was heard at the door, and
without waiting for an invitation to enter, the
visitor presented himself. Imagine my surprise
when the minister, of whom mention has been
made in a preceding chapter, walked briskly in,
and with an air of conscious power, made known
his business. I had seated myself with my back
to the door, but had caught a glimpse of the
hypocrite's side face, without recognition on his
part, and then waited, with considerable curiosity,
I confess, to hear the object of his visit. Oh,
how my blood boiled ! This wretch, whom the
world supposed was entirely engrossed with the
saving of souls, but whose special business it
was to drag down to the lowest depths of infamy
the weak and helpless the man I had driven
from the house of the woman whose God-given
husband had just taken the scoundrel by the
hand, with all the grace and suavity of a refined
gentleman, as well as a sincere disciple of Jesus
made known his benevolent errand.
HAYE called, my dear sir," said the
wolf, so thoroughly disguised as a sheep
that a person unacquainted with his
real character must have believed him the
dear innocent he represented, "to see if I
could interest you in a poor family (I will
only detain you a moment) that I have lately
had fall upon my hands. A very interesting
case, I assure you, a widow and five children,
the eldest only eight years old. I have just
returned from the miserable apartments in which
they live, and the distress I have been com-
pelled to witness, accustomed as I am to scenes
of destitution and wretchedness, has caused my
heart to ache bitterly."
"I am very much engaged this afternoon
Mr. ," replied the merchant kindly, "and
have not time to talk the matter over; but,
UP BROADWAY. 129
to relieve immediate distress, allow me to give
you a small sum, which will at least keep
the family from starving for a few days ; "
and I turned to see a fifty-dollar greenback
just on the point of being transferred to the
minister's long greedy fingers. At that mo-
ment I confronted him. Many times in my
life have I waxed wroth and indignant, but
never before did I feel so thoroughly pugi-
listic ! I could well understand then how men,
taught, as they are, from infancy, the "manly
art " of self-defence, are ready, when occasion
demands it, to pitch in and make a corporeal
impression where a moral one is not possible.
There was no question but the scamp needed,
as Mrs. Partington would express it, "a good,
sound trouncing;" but all I could do was to
glare . with my eyes, and " trounce " with my
tongue, which I declare was never in better
"Put that money back in your pocket, sir,"
I commanded, more like Xantippe herself than
the modest, self-possessed woman I was desirous
of showing myself. " I would not trust that man
130 UP BROADWAY.
with ten cents; a man who will assist in the
downfall of women, who will lie, and creep, and
play the part of a seducer and hypocrite through
the week and explain the word of God on the
Sabbath, will also steal. Give me the residence
of that poor family whose sorrows you so
glowingly picture. Mr. and myself are
just going out, and we will call there and
render all the assistance necessary."
The merchant came to my side, and taking
my hand in his, said soothingly and respect-
"But, my dear friend, you have made a
mistake ; this gentleman is the- Rev. Mr. ,
whose character is above reproach."
"It would be unbecoming a Christian gen-
tleman," said the parson, who had just found
breath to speak, " to show any anger in re-
plying ; yet I feel that there is, as the just
and glorious Paul expresses it, such a sentiment
as righteous indignation. This female," with an
accent on female, which, under other circum-
stances, would have been ludicrous to the
last degree, "I have never, in my life, laid
UP BROAD WA T. 131
eyes on until this moment, and I defy her,
or any one else, to produce an incident in
my life which shall reflect to my discredit."
"If you can trust me in other matters, sir,"
I replied, addressing my companion, who still
stood close by my side, "you may trust me
in this. A short time ago, a poor woman,
whose life had been cursed by disappointment
"I shall be compelled to bid you good af-
ternoon, sir" interrupted the clerical cheat,
making for the door. " I will call again, when
sure of finding you alone. Your visitor is
evidently an excellent candidate for Blooming^
dale. I cannot remain without losing my tem-
per, although aware that the woman labors
under the strangest hallucination possible to
"You will go, sir," said I, "when I have
finished, and not until then," and placing my-
self against the door, effectually barred his egress.
"As I said before, a woman who had been
driven to desperation by the bitterest disap-
pointment, who was unable to procure by hon-
132 UP BROAD WA Y.
est labor the commonest necessaries of life,
broken down with her weight of woe, appealed
to this man for spiritual comfort. He talked
to her a little while of Jesus, of the won-
derful love and wisdom of God in thus prov-
ing his boundless affection by the great test
of chastisement, and then volunteered to call
on her. She gave him permission, hoping there
might be something in the religion of which
he was a popular representative, to cheer and
console. One visit served to demonstrate the
fact that her spiritual adviser merely sought
his own lustful gratification. You may well
look astonished; but tliis is the literal truth;
and if my word is not sufficient, I am pre-
pared to prove it."
The merchant's face was ashen pale. I could
see that he had a suspicion of the truth.
"His intended victim was not was not" ,
he inquired, almost in a whisper.
I shot him a glance, which he interpreted
aright, and continued : "I do not believe he
can give the residence of any such family as
he has described; not that there are not him-
UP BROAD WA T. 133
dreds of such in our midst; but the poor and
needy are among the least of his troubles.
Your minister simply desired an addition to
his pocket-money for some anticipated sub-
rosa, anti-orthodox spree. You are at liberty
to leave now as quickly as you please."
" You will live long enough to repent this,
I trust," roared the parson, making a hasty
and undignified exit.
"How much money has that fellow fleeced
you out of, I wonder ? " I could not help
asking, as the merchant contemplated the door,
from whence had issued this clerical humbug.
"Is it possible that 1 have been imposed
upon all this time?" he replied. "I really
can make no estimate of the amounts I have
given the man from time to time ; thousands
of dollars, probably; and, no doubt, every shil-
ling has been transferred to the man's own
pocket. Tell me, Mrs. Kirk, where did you
first make the discovery in regard to his real
character?" And the sad eyes took on a sad-
der look, as he waited for me to answer.
"Oh! never mind where, just now," I re-
134 UP BROADWAY.
plied, evasively; "I will entertain you some
time with an account of n few of my experi-
enees ; and now let US go before we are again.
"Something told me, my friend," he con-
tinued, without withdrawing his gaze, "that my
Marv was the woman you ha\e reference to.
If it is so, tell me; and, l>y Heaven, I'll tind
a wav to make the w ret eh wish he had never
been horn. Tell me now ! it is my right to
Aye, thought I, how many terrible things you
had yet to learn, my dear sir! How are you
to bear the disclosures M'hich must be made?
Would it not be well to keep the past a secret?
AVhy is it necessary to harrow up the man's soul
with an account of the manner in which his
Mary had kept herself and ehild from starving
during the long years he had been separated
from her? Surely, Mary would never tell him,
and 1 was morally certain 1 never should.
Y\'ould the man grasp the whole truth by his
keen intuition-: And then again, wasn't there
another side to the picture? Had lie any right
UP BROADWAY. 135
to inquire how she; had supported herself, BO long
as ho had boon the cause of her hand-to-hand
struggle with the agonizing realities of life?
And then, again, there wan poor, weak human
nature, there were the rules and requirements of
established conventionalisms which say to a man:
"We will wink at whatever sin you may commit.
It is not very pretty, perhaps; but, then, had
women arc necessary evils ;" and to the woman,
"(iot thee behind me, Satan! The very night of
you is contamination." I weighed all these,
and pitied my companion more than over. Men
are taught from childhood to expect so mueh
more from their mothers, sisters, and lady friends
than ever comes into the head of a woman to
demand from the opposite sex, that it is no
wonder that many men are unreasonable in their
expectations, and despotic in their government.
The, whole social puz/lo scorned unravelled then,
and it has ever since appeared very singular to
me that women who have; had opportunities for
cultivation and mental and spiritual growth, an;
not awake to the fact that a woman should be
held in no more disrespect for ministering to a
136 UP BROAD WA Y.
man's pleasure or necessity than the man himself.
It always did seem to me an even thing ; and yet,
in common with the rest of my sex, I find that I
have often entertained the seducer, and turned
a cold shoulder to the seduced, for which my
conscience reproaches me bitterly.
"I am overwehelmed with the disclosures of
the day," the merchant resumed. " I knew that
the world was full of hypocrites ; but I had no
idea that a man ..occupying the high position he
does, would dare to commit such crimes against
society. Don't look at me so reproachfully," he
continued, after a brief scanning of my coun-
tenance. "I know what you thought that mo-
ment. This was it : How dare he make com-
parisons? Did he not deceive a good woman,
and by this deception entail woe and disgrace
upon her ? I tell you, madam," and the pale face
blanched to an ashen whiteness, "I will not
allow you to think of that rascal and myself at
the same time. I sinned from love and he from
lust. Do you not see the difference ? "
" I should think, my friend, that you might be
aware, from the great difference in my manner
UP BROADWAY 137
towards you and the rascal who has just depar-
ted, of my real feelings, even if I had not ex-
pressed as much in language. You have my
heartiest, my most earnest sympathy; and now
let us go."
" I beg your pardon a thousand times, my
friend, for my hasty language. What business
have I, after all, to excuse myself ; I who have
doomed to poverty and ignominy my heart's
choice, and my own flesh and blood ? It ill be-
comes me to talk about others! And yet, my
contempt for the wretch who has just left us is
every bit as profound as if I had never been
guilty of sin. One of the inconsistencies of
poor human nature, I presume. You said, let us
go. Yes, let us go quickly. There is not a mo-
ment to be lost. What have we been dallying
here for, when my poor little ones are ill and in
danger ? Oh ! good God ! just to think of it ;
all these years starving and I rolling in luxury.
Why did she run from me? I could, at least,
have provided her with physical comforts.
Come now, I will order the carriage, and we will
go. Give me some idea of how I am to find
138 UP BROAD WA T.
them, or I fear I shall not be able to control
"Please do not disappoint me," I replied,
hoping to calm the almost insane man, by appeal-
ing to his pride. " I have felt all along that I
could rely upon you most implicitly. Your dear
ones are comfortably provided for ; but the local-
ity in which they have been compelled to reside,
as I told you before, is a wretched one ; but you
must not think of surroundings. Your every
energy must be bent toward the accomplishment
of a great purpose, namely, the future happi-
ness of the woman and child who have been
kept in the mire of poverty and anguish by the
great mistake made by you in misrepresenting
your real social position. You see, my dear sir,
everything comes directly back to you. And if
you are not wonderfully discreet and self-poised,
I cannot be answerable for consequences."
" Oh ! you may trust me ; I will be good ;
indeed I will. You shall never have a word of
fault to find. I will redeem the past with the
glory of my future."
There was a childish pathos about the voice,
UP BROAD WA T. 139
and an indescribably earnest expression of the
fine mouth, that brought me again to the reali-
zation of the fact that a woman with more knowl-
edge of the world than Mary possessed, when, im-
mature and unsophisticated, he ran with her from
her father's house, would have been quite excus-
able for allowing her heart to greet him quickly.
" See if I don't," he continued. " Indeed you
may always trust me. Come," and drawing my
arm through his we went down the street into the
carriage, and rolled away towards the miserable
tenement. " Mulberry street, did you say I " al-
most groaned my companion.
IH ! this tedious, dreadful groping ; this
wearisome seeking of the soul for light ;
this desire to find some clue to the
strange entanglement some thread that will
finally lead out of the snarl ! May not one be
pardoned for honest doubt, even by those who
stand firmest in the faith of a merciful God and
a glorious hereafter ?
Can such things be, and overcome us, like a
summer's cloud, without our special wonder?
Every revolution of the wheels was taking us
nearer to Mary. How would she stand the meet-
ing ? How did I dare to take so much responsi-
bility upon myself? If the All-wise and
All-merciful had desired, could He not have
brought happiness to this strangely-led, strangely-
chastened husband and wife, without my inter-
ference ? What was the need of keeping these
UP BROAD WAY. 141
two souls apart which love had seemingly joined
and sanctified ? Was it wicked (yes, I suppose it
was ; but I couldn't help it, any more than I
could keep back the tears that would roll out of
my eyes each time I looked at the poor fellow by
my side) to wonder what /should have done had
I been the ruler of the universe ? They would
have been my children !
Motherly love immediately flew over to Brook-
lyn, where my own sunny-haired darlings were,
and as imagination conjured up a vision of my-
self, rod in hand, pelting remorselessly into my
own flesh and blood, just because I loved them, I
grew hard and sceptical and out 'of patience ;
and the conclusion was forced upon me, that the
world would consider such a mother anything
but loving and motherly. I reviewed my own
troubles. I tell you, one can think quickly
sometimes ; and somehow it came upon me that
I had not been consulted in regard to my own
manufacture or creation. If I had, with the least
knowledge of life's bitterness, I should most
respectfully have declined the honor. So would,
probably, the man by my side ; so would most
14:2 UP BROAD WA T.
everybody. " That train of thought," exclaims
the pious reader, " is not a very profitable one."
Perhaps not ; but I should like to inquire of my
pious friend, what one's common sense or reason-
ing faculties were given one for, if not to use ?
and how, in the name of that common sense, a
man or a woman can be satisfied with continued
castigation ? How a loving heart, longing for
love, the exquisite essence of life ; longing for
appreciation, for sympathy, for love's complete
environment, : can be made to have patience with
misconstruction, separation, and the lack of
everything that soul demands for healthy devel-
opment ? My companion was in dead earnest,
so was Mary, so was I ; and yet the cup of sor-
row had been drained to the last and bitterest
dregs by each one of us.
" My God ! what is all this for ?" I could not
help exclaiming, though bitterly against my
" For joy, I hope, my dear friend," exclaimed
my companion, taking my hand in his, and cov-
ering it tenderly with the other palm.
"You have suffered, too ; and I have been so
UP BROAD WA Y. 143
absorbed in my own trouble as not to have no-
ticed it. Sorrow makes one selfish, I think.
The past, with me, will simply resolve itself into
an unpleasant dream, if I am only able to make
amends in future. Don't sob so, my dear child,
don't." And the low tones, so intensely musical,
brought a calm to my soul, which at that mo-
ment was doubly blessed.
" Here we are," said I ; and in a moment more
the driver reined up in front of the tumble-down
" Come back to me in an hour for further
orders," said the merchant, as the coachman
waited. " It is hardly safe to wait here that
length of time."
I could not help wondering at the new tone
which the voice had taken on. I knew there
would be no more breaking down ; not that the
conflict was over ; but the necessity had arrived
for quick and decisive action for careful self-
control and. the man was ready for the emer-
gency. "We stopped one moment at the foot of
144: UP BROADWAY.
"Well, what are we waiting for?" he asked,
" I will go in first, and after a little prepara-
tion, will give the signal for you to enter."
" As you think best," he replied. " But for
the love of mercy, do not be long."
Just think! This man had waited ten long,
weary years ten. years of agony and torture in-
describable; had groped along hopelessly, with-
out glimmer of light, and now the day had
dawned, and there was prospect of that peace
which comes from mutual understanding. The
goal was near within reaching distance; but
the hard patience, which had previously sustained
him, was now quite gone, and in its place had
come again that insatiable longing, born of hope,
which would not brook an instant's delay.
" Please remember that I understand perfectly
how you feel, and will be as expeditious as I
think prudent. May the Lord grant that the step
I have taken apparently so impulsively, and so
replete with love and goodwill may result as
UP BROADWAY. 145
"Amen," he moaned, with bowed head, and
hands convulsively clasped.
Now, perhaps, some one will say that I had no
right to supplicate in such a manner. Why not?
I craved a boon, and asked my Heavenly Father
for it. I desired an especial blessing upon my
friends, who, it seemed to me, had earned a
blessing. I asked for something I wanted, just
the same as I used to ask my own earthly father
for the means to aid those who stood in need of
comforting, knowing that he was abundantly
able and willing to grant my humane requests.
What is the use of praying, if one doesn't pray
for what one wants ? It seems to me that most
supplications are at least miserable farces. Ever
since I can remember, I have wondered at the
style of prayer adopted by most ministers. It
has always appeared to me that if God really
listened to the twaddle which Sabbath after
Sabbath was spun out, and respun, and worked
over again, in long-winded descriptions of His
especial attributes (just as if a man thought to
make himself popular with Deity by playing
upon his vanity), that if disgust could be felt by
146 UP BROADWAY.
one so wise and loving, there would not be room
for any other sensation save that and pity ! And
then, to ask for a host of things which seem es-
pecially desirable, after having explained to the
Almighty the immense benefit to be derived from
such and such a programme, to end with, in
substance, this : " But, oh Lord ! this seems to us
wisest and best; but it is no matter about it
any way that suits you will please me wonder-
fully." !Nbw, I don't believe there can be found
one man, or one woman, in one thousand, who, if
he or she knows calamity is threatening them
death or disgrace staring themselves or loved
ones in the face but will, if they believe at all
in prayer, pray with all their might and main to
have the trouble averted ; and if they end such
supplications with, " Not as I will, but as Thou
thinkest best," the most are guilty of falsehood,
for it is not within the limits of human endur-
ance to be willing to be constantly scourged. I
don't believe in praying for a new bonnet, or a
new suit of clothes, or a ride, or a journey ; but
if the soul, which must be a part of God's, desires
to be gloriously filled with that love, which all
UP BROADWAY. 147
admit to be a direct emanation from Omnipo-
tence, the wisest thing, in my judgment, is to ask
for it, to plead for it, because one wants it,
and end with, " I want it I want it and can-
not be denied." A child may be very still under
keen disappointment when its father has de-
nied certain things which seemed to the little
one eminently just and proper may be still,
because realizing that no effort of the feeble will
can avail against the stronger paternal one ; but
it is the silence of defeat, and sometimes of
graceful submission, but never because the child
has given up desiring the pleasure its little heart
so earnestly yearned for. It isn't honest to say
to God, "I am resigned to any trouble you
may see proper to afflict me with, even if Christ
did say, "Thy will be done."
As I turned from my friend, old Mother
Thurston came out of her room, on her way up-
"Oh, my dear!" exclaimed the kind-hearted
old woman, "I am so glad you have got back;
I have been praying for it for the last half-
148 tfP BROADWAY.
Good gracious ! how my heart throbbed. I
could have taken her into my arms, and hugged
her, rags and all, for just that one little sen-
"But, Mother Thurston, what did you do
that for ? " I inquired, hoping that I had at last
found the right description of faith.
" What for, do you ask, honey ? Why, that is
a funny question to come- from such as you.
"Why I asked the Lord to send you straight back,
because I wanted you, sure, and the poor creetur
up stairs needed you, of course."
There it was. She had asked for what she
wanted; and I don't believe it occurred to her
to end with, "Never mind about it; it's all
the same to me."
"I told her you'd be here afore long. You
see I somehow knowed it. She has been dread-
ful kind of anxious about something, and has
ee'n amost strained her big eyes out of her head
watching the door. I couldn't get a word out of
her, no how."
" Well, my dear, you see I am back again," I
UP BROADWAY. 149
said, catching the brilliant eye of the invalid as 1
opened the door.
"I hope you are feeling better."
"Where have you been?" she asked, almost
under her breath, drawing my head down on
the pillow beside her.
" Oh ! just to make a call," I answered,
" I am so glad, and so sorry ; I hoped, and I
was afraid. You know what you said when you
went out. "Well, I wa's frightened, because you
know he could never forgive me and love me
as he used; and I would much rather die than
be pitied; but oh, my Father! I could forgive
him anything, no matter what it was could
love him if he had committed the unpardonable
" What do you call the unpardonoble sin, my
dear ? " I interrupted, purposely.
"Oh! 1 don't know," she replied, dreamily,
"The unpardonable sin, my child, with him,
would be his failure to love you as formerly;
his determination not to overlook a past for
150 UP BKOADWAT.
which he is greatly responsible; but I don't
think I should say but little of that past just
Oh! how she glared at me. "Some things
may safely be left to be inferred, temporarily,
at least," I continued, taking no notice of her
flashing eyes. " It is better they should be."
" Tell me now, have you ? Oh, no, you would
not be so cruel. You would never dare take
advantage of an accident. I never told you his
name would have died before such disgrace
should have been brought upon him."
"What does mother mean by disgrace?" in-
quired little Mary, advancing to the bedside,
and taking the thin, white hand of her mother
"It seems to me (of course, I don't know
much about it), but it seems to me a dreadful
disgrace for a little girl not to have any father
she can call so, and yet have a father living.
Aun^e Kirk, I have prayed ever since you went,
every minute of the time, to the Lord God,
that if my mother's " and here the little girl
hesitated for the right word, and finished
HP BROADWAY. 151
with "my mother's love, and my father was
living, you would find him ; and if you haven't,
I* shall. I'm not going to bear such nonsense
as this much longer, I can tell you." And a
look of determination, almost of defance, trans-
formed the child's face into that of a stern, in-
"I don't suppose he's much to brag about,
anyhow; but it's a good thing to get acquainted
with one's relations, especially one's father. I
know who he is now, and where to find him;
and if killed for it the next minute, I'll make
him understand t'other from which. I don't
like sickness, and sorrow, and tears, and rags,
and a nasty old house in Mulberry street, and an
empty stomach, and cold feet, and no good shoes,
and no nothing generally; and then, there is
something here," laying her little hand on her
heart, an angelic expression taking the place of
the late defiant one; "there is something here
that wants somebody, something I never had
that isn't clothes or victuals something to love
me fit to kill me and if it isn't my father,
who in the world should it be ? But I wouldn't
152 UP BROADWAY.
speak to him if lie should walk into this room
now until well until/' Here the tears com-
menced to flow. "Pshaw! what's the matter
with me ? " she continued. " I'm almost as bad
as mother ! "What was I saying ? " and the
pearly drops came faster. " Oh ! that I wouldn't
speak to him until well, until he told me that
he loved me that's when! "What a goose I
am ! I remember what you told me, Auntie Kirk
that you didn't believe he was so dreadful
much to blame. I have been thinking of it
ever since. That is the only real good thing
that ever was said to me in my whole life !
Bless his old heart ! "
I knew that the "mother's 4ove," and the
child's father was drinking in every word, for I
had purposely left the door ajar.
|H ! how that child tortures me ! Mary,
you will drive me mad ! Surely, my
punishment is greater than I can bear ! "
murmured the sufferer, turning her face to the
"What are you always talking about pun-
ishment for, mother? Didn't you love my
father? say now please tell me? Do you not
love him now? Have you not always loved
him? You don't speak. God is love, is he
not? He made the love, didn't He? If He
didn't know that you and my father were go-
insr to love each other, and that I should
come into this abominable old world, I am
right sure lie didn't know much, and what's
the use of talking about it? It's all plain
enough; when you come to think, just rig] it.
There is either somebody who fixes things as
154: UP BROADWAY.
they ought to be, else there isn't, that's all ;
and what's the sense of fretting either way?"
"That is very strange talk for a little girl,"
said the invalid, forgetful for a moment of
the agony she was enduring.
" I know it, mother. I know it, Auntie Kirk.
I just feel that I am nothing but a little girl;
but I have had plenty of time to thinJc, and
I have done it, too. I couldn't have come
here without the Lord willed it so. I am one
more, just a little speck more, that is all;
but if He has counted the hairs in everybody's
head, it wouldn't be fair to leave mine out;
and just please tell me how in the world I
could be here if God didn't desire it so?
And now (I only wish I knew how to talk.
I will one of these days, see if I don't),"
and the dark, beautiful eyes, so luminous with
intelligence and that winsome spirituality, which
was the darling's greatest attraction, became so
magnetically fascinating, that both her mother
and myself were spell-bound for the instant.
"And now," she continued, "He must have
known all about who was to be my mother
UP BROADWAY. 155
and father; and I shouldn't have been my-
self at all if it hadn't been so do you see?
And if God fixed it that way, it must be
right, and there is no sort of use in crying
over it. / shall go to my father, if you haven't
got ahead of me, Auntie. I see something
strange in your eyes, Auntie. Mother, look!
Don't you see it too ? Oh ! you have. I know
you have. Mother, are you blind? I have
got a father, and that father loves me ; and
mother, you have got a love, and that love
loves you ; and he has always loved you ; and
I can be kissed; and I can be hugged, and
called beautiful names; and I can Jiave all
the clean stockings I want, and buttoned gai-
ters, just big enough, and nice dresses ; and
mother needn't cry any more ; and she can be
kissed, and have a nice house to live in. Oh,
Father in Heaven!" and here the distracted
child threw herself upon her knees. "Oh,
Father in Heaven! what a dear, kind, good,
splendid Father, to have waited all this time
until this little girl has grown big enough to
know what comfort is; because, dear Father,
156 UP BROADWAY.
if she had always had what she wanted, she
would never have known how good it was.
Please be very loving to Auntie Kirk for mak-
ing me believe that it would all come out
right one of these days; because the feeling
that there was nobody in heaven to care for
me, was ten million times worse than an empty
stomach, and no stockings and shoes. Make
mother see it, too. Oh, wont it be jolly, when
my own papa comes and folds us close to his
heart? and it will be you that sent him. You,
oh, dear, good Heavenly Father, who gave us
all trouble that we might taste ease of com-
fort. Give Auntie somebody to love her, too;
somebody that will make her heart sing all
day, and be glad every minute. Change the
sad light in her eyes to one so full of joy and
gladness that everybody who meets her will
know her heart is filled up to the very tip
top, and hasn't room for a bit more. Please,
God, don't send us any more tears; because
we have all cried as much as we need 3 and
have got enough of it. Make mother as glad
as I am that we have had sorrow and trouble,
UP BROADWAY. 157
but for all our sakes, and Jesus Christ's sake,
send mother's love to us quickly."
" Amen," responded the invalid, now as calm
as a child upon its mother's breast.
"Amen," I sobbed, with my eyes fixed upon
"Amen," came in deep, sonorous tones from
the husband and father, who just then came
slowly into the apartment. Mary, with her
eyes closed, drinking in the full inspiration of
the little one's prayer, did not first notice
the visitor, but the child, just rising from her
knees, caught the first glimpse of her father.
"With an enraptured cry of "Papa!" a cry
in which there was no feeling but of joy
bliss, and love unutterable; a cry so full of
angelic affection that it rings in my ears
still then with a mighty effort drew back,
"Not me first. Oh, not me first! Mother,
here's your love. Oh, what a splendid God
that was to answer my prayer so soon! I
never will doubt him again."
"My love" faintly whispered Mary, slowly
158 Z7P BROADWAY.
turning her head toward him. " What do you
say, my love, my darling ? "
Their eyes met. So far, the merchant had
not spoken a word.
"Oh, no; it can't be; but I thought I saw
him then. I think I must be dying. Mary,
come here. I am going go " and the weary
lids closed, and the feeble breath seemed to
" Mary, my love, my darling, my angel, speak
to me ! I am here. Your own precious husband.
Open your eyes. God is good, darling. We
shall never be parted again." And in a second
more the limp figure was in his arms. Up and
down the seven-by-nine apartment he walked,
pressing kiss after kiss upon cheek, lip, and eye,
calling her by the most endearing epithets. Oh !
that the whole world could have seen that
reunion. I don't care how straight-laced or
orthodox or conventional they might have been,
every other feeling would have been swallowed
up in the one glorious idea of love.
"She has fainted," I ventured to suggest.
" Would it not be well to bathe her head and
UP BROADWAY. 159
face with cold water?" fearful that he would
extinguish altogether the little spark of life
" Do not be alarmed," he replied. " She is
reviving. Joy seldom kills, you know." And,
sure enough, as he spoke, the trembling lids
unclosed, and the recognition was complete.
The first words she uttered were,
" Charles, am I dreaming ? or am I in heaven ?
But then you don't know all. Oh, dearest'
what sent you back to me? You can never
" Mary ! " and the merchant laid the invalid
back upon her pillows. "Mary, my own pre-
cious wife, I implore that you will consider me
wholly responsible for the past, whatever that
past may have been, and please never revert to
it again. I am free from all legal ties, and you
shall be mine in a few moments by human law,
as you have always been by the divine. "When
you are stronger, I will make many things plain
to you ; and now, my daughter"
The child's face was as pale as death; but
160 UP BROADWAY.
with a joyful cry she bounded into his arms,
and hid her head in his neck.
"All I could have asked," he murmured.
"As sweet and as beautiful as the heart of a
parent could desire."
"What long whiskers; and how black they
are; and what big eyes you have got, papa;
and how much they are like mine, and mother^ ;
and how handsome you are ; and oh, dear
Heavenly Father ! how much I love him ; but,
papa, what a long time you have been coming"
This was more than the strong man could
"Yes, darling," he replied. "But I have
sought you day and night, until my heart was
almost broken." And then he burst into tears.
"Oh, don't, papa! please don't! No more
tears now. God has fixed it all right. If it
had come before, we shouldn't have been half
so happy. Let's be good."
In a moment more, Mary had tottered out of
bed, and drawing her husband's hand into her
bosom, kissed away the tears, and the strong
arm gathered her once more to her resting-place.
HP BROADWAY. 161
There they sat, one on each knee, sheltered and
u Oh ! Mrs. Kirk," said the merchant, a bright
smile breaking over his handsome features, "I
wish I had another arm to offer you."
" I wish you had," I murmured, through blind-
ing tears ; for to save my life, I could not help a
sort of " out-in-the-cold " feeling which was any-
thing but agreeable.
" Next to my wife and child, shall I always
cherish you, if you will let me." And as cherish
had a very pleasant and protective sound about
it, extremely soothing to the tired soul, I gave
him both my hands on "cherish," and this
is about all. An hour after, the invalid was
removed to the Hotel, a minister summoned,
and the nuptial knot tied ; and now they are at
home, where, dear reader, I trust your blessing
will follow them.
A SEQUEL TO "UP BROADWAY."
"Life is too short for logic. What I do
I must do simply. God alone must judge,
For God alone shall guide.
I have snapped opinion's chains, and now Til soar
Up to the blazing sunlight, and be free."
A SEQUEL TO "UP BROADWAY."
]OO short for logic!" Ay, too short! So
let us now for a while shut our eyes
upon syllogisms, formalities, established
conventionalisms, and legal penumbra, allowing
heart and common-sense to utter a few words of
truth and soberness.
" What could have induced you to give ' Up
Broadway ' to the world ? " is an inquiry which
has been made thousands of times since its pub-
lication. " I cannot conceive how you dared tell
such a story." "The world is not ready for
such fearless exposition of sentiment." "Some
things will not bear ventilating, and ' Up Broad-
way ' tends to immorality." " It is simply impos-
sible for a woman who has once sinned, as did
the heroine of your story, to be possessed of any
purity of thought." " A man is a fool to trust
a woman under such circumstances," etc.
166 SEQUEL TO
The above are just a few quotations from the
scores of letters I have received in reference to
"Up Broadway." The amusing part of the
business is- that not one of these critical effu-
sions fails to end without an inquiry as to my
heroine's whereabouts, how she can be best
approached ; in many instances requesting let-
ters of introduction. Does this not tell a won-
derful story? Does it not plainly demonstrate
that, under this thick crust of conservatism,
which must of a necessity beget a vision short-
ened and distorted, there lies a kindliness and
nobility of purpose which needs only a few
mental earthquakes to shock into action. Occa-
sionally these dreamers are startled from their
lethargy by an account of some tragic affair,
which for a moment sends the righteous blood
in active circulation. Then they stop to think
and ask what these things mean, and are often
tempted into the expression of opinions which,
not unfrequently, frighten themselves. The last
on the list of horrors was the murder of Albert
D. Richardson by McFarland ; a man who, for
love's sake, was most foully murdered, and who
UP BROADWAY. 167
as surely died a martyr to popular ignorance
and bigotry as Stephen Polycarp, John Brown,
or Lincoln. So we go. Richardson is not can-
onized yet; therefore, every venerable constitu-
tional conservative, from the Pope at Rome to
the King of the New York gambling hell, is
busy hurling at him the greater anathema; and
every obscure little dog connected with tlie
press joins in the chorus of howls: and the
smaller and filthier the animal, the louder his
squeak on this especial topic; the nobler and
purer the men who have defended the martyr,
the intenser the delight with which these curs
strive to tread them under foot. Some of these
puppies may grow to be big dogs yet. Who
knows \ But the majority, we fear, will waddle
down to their graves growling and snarling, un-
mourned and unhonored save by their own mon-
"Why did Eleanor Kirk write 'Up Broad-
I will tell you, my poor, fettered, scared-to-
death friends: First, because "Up Broadway"
is a faithful history of events which actually
168 SEQUEL TO
took place, a wonderful one in some respects,
I admit, but as true as the sunlight. Secondly,
because I felt it to be a duty, a most imper-
ative duty, that I owed to the thousands of
women, who, through cold and hunger, heart
and soul starvation, have been driven to des-
peration and prostitution, to show them what
one woman, by the aid of kindness and rightly-
directed sympathy, has been able to accom-
plish. Thirdly, because I felt that the world
needed just such a history, and it was high
time that these one-sided, straight-laced, unfor-
giving, canting members of society should
thoroughly understand that another than Christ
had for love's sweet sake forgiven a woman!
And lastly, because my soul reaches longingly
out not only toward the oppressed and down-
trodden of my own sex, but to all those who
are bound by the fetters of an unloved, uncon-
genial matrimonial alliance. Although women
may be, and undoubtedly are, by reason of
larger sensitiveness and less physical force, the
greater sufferers from such unions, yet it is the
height of folly to predicate that women only
UP BROADWAY. 169
are made miserable by this non-conformity of
affection and natural temperament. I know of
women to-day whom an angel from Heaven
could not live with in peace and harmony, and
would probably not try after one day's experi-
ence, because, let us hope, that with the higher
light and knowledge which men must attain to
in another state of existence, they understand that
which it would be well for many poor, unhappy,
struggling wretches to understand on earth,
that a marriage without love is no marriage at
all. I realize to what I am exposing myself.
"An advocate of free love!" I hear some of
you say. "Yes, sir; yes, madam; free love!
Not according to your definition of the term,
however. Love, the genuine article, the divine,
earnest, glorious affection which makes men
and women willing to be scouted at, despised,
injured, maimed, and martyred for its precious
sake, is always free. Fetter it if you can; im-
prison it, and it will gush out from between
every bar, and make the earth glad with its
I abhor and turn my back upon the lust and
170 SEQVEL TO
licentiousness which characterize the devotees
of this comparatively new doctrine. What do
men and women know of love who have no
wish or thought beyond the gratification of
their sensual desires? What do worms and
toads understand of the glory of God's uni-
verse? Still we cannot help seeing, although
we admit it with pain, that this immoral
state of the community is chiefly attributable
to the fearful amount of prostitution in mar-
riage. In other words, men and women, tiring
of each other, discovering too late to be of ser-
vice that there is no bond of sympathy between
them, realizing that the law cannot interfere
in such cases, start out in pursuit of something
which they are unable to find at home. Many,
it is true, wear these fetters meekly, making
no attempt to escape, either righteously or other-
wise, from the thraldom of an unloved, un-
happy marriage relation. Not a few believe
it their duty to stay and suffer, and so sacri-
fice health, comfort, and everything which
makes life endurable, to a morbid, and, when
rightly viewed and analyzed, a wicked observ-
UP BROADWAY. 171
ance of a law which it seems to me could
never have been framed for the intelligent,
intellectual nineteenth century.
"I do not love him; he is unkind to me;
he never consults my wishes ; I loathe the very
idea of being brought in close personal contact
with him: what shall I do?" asks more than
one woman in New York to-day.
" Why, leave him ; allow him to go his way
in peace; you go yours."
"But the laws of the State will not allow
me a divorce for unkindness, or brutal treat-
ment even. I am not prepared to prove that
my husband is untrue to me."
"Exactly, my dear; but that does not alter
your duty. Women, strangely enough, seem to
have imbibed an idea that when they are tamely
submitting to neglect and abuse, to fault-finding,
and blows perhaps, that they are doing God
service ; that because, according to a ridiculous
statute which insists that the two joined together
by priest, minister, or justice of the peace, God
has united, they must consequently endure every
species of indignity which either or both desire
172 SEQUEL TO
to inflict. "Wliat a grand thing it will be for
humanity when men and women learn that no
men or set of meii, no law or set of laws, can
bind soul to soul, and that neither powers or
principalities, things above, or things below, are
able to separate soul from soul. Will some one
explain why it is a woman's duty to live with a
man who abuses or ignores her ? why it is a
man's duty to remain under the same roof with a
woman he abhors ? "Who says you shall lie pros-
trate, and allow this man to tread upon every
sentiment of right, every noble inspiration and
impulse? Who says you shall take without a
murmur every description of abuse and con-
tumely ? Who says you shall submit to his fiend-
ish caresses, and bear his children? Who says
you can be knocked down and dragged out, your
little ones taught every imaginable wickedness?
Who says convict your husband or wife of adul-
tery, no matter how it is accomplished ; employ
a friend or detective to lead them into the
haunts of vice, or inveigle them into suspicious
positions, we will wink at the modus operandi,
but we have no desire and no power to separate
UP BROADWAY. 173
what God has joined together for any of the
above minor causes ? I will tell you : The laws
of the State of New York.
Do you still ask why Eleanor Ejrk wrote " Up
Broadway"? Once more: To give men and
women courage ; to show them, by the recital of
a true story, that love is mighty, love is omnipo-
tent ; and to do away, as far as possible, with the
old-established idea that marriage, by priest or
minister, is a God-ordained rite. In the " Sequel "
she hopes to convince a few, at least, that one
kind of suicide is as wicked as another, and that
no human being has a right to throw away or
tread upon his or her happiness, thereby making
miserable and shortening the lives which God
has given. The number of women who have
gone down to their graves broken-hearted is fear-
ful to contemplate; and men have been found
foolish enough to stay and be made miserable by
heartless and wicked partners. Still, men are
not fettered by the same laws which bind
women. A man, failing to find peace and com-
fort at home, can spend his leisure hours at
club, lodge, or with the woman or women whose
society he prefers to his legally-made wife. The
world knows of this, winks at it, believes in it,
and pities the poor fellow who is so terribly hen-
pecked ; and he is received with open arms in
any society he chooses to enter. Xow let us
reverse this. What if the wife, disappointed and
uncomfortable, attempts to solace herself with
others what then? Why, she is an outcast and
a reprobate at once, and anathemas both loud
and deep are hurled at the suffering woman.
For my own part, I wage no war against this
treatment of so-called wives by Mrs. Grundy.
On the contrary, I am glad of it, and consider it
eminently healthy, but fail to understand why
husbands are not subjected to the same social
treatment. While the relations of husband and
wife are sustained by the parties bound, neither
party has the least moral right to seek solace and
entertainment in the society of the opposite sex.
Both honor and common decency forbid it. It
is only when such relations have entirely ceased
when the husband and wife, after careful
and conscientious effort, discover that harmony is
a condition unattainable, having previously given
UP BROADWAY. 175
fair warning of his or her determination to quit
forever, that the question of happiness from
another quarter should be considered for a
moment. Then comes the God-given right to
seek comfort, if it is not already within reach.
Do not misunderstand or misconstrue, I pray. I
only wish to convey the idea that it is the duty of
every human being to be happy, when this
happiness does not conflict with or mar the com-
fort of another. The man who lives in husband-
ly relations with the wife the law has given him,
must be entirely devoid of every manly attribute
when he enters into such relations with another.
No man can be true to two women, no woman to
two men. This is entirely out of nature, and
those who thus deliberately set aside morality,
and decency deserve all the ignominy such
behavior is sure to entail, and all the contumely
the world can pile upon them.
" I have children : what shall I do ? said a
legally-made wife to me the other day.
" Do you love the father of those children ? " I
"Love him? No!" she replied. Neither does
176 SEQUEL TO
he love me. Sometimes there are whole weeks
that we do not speak together even ; then again
he will be quite pleasant for a day or two. He
is not only unkind to me, but I know he loves
another. Until I discovered this, no woman
ever tried more faithfully than I to please
a husband ; but it was no use. I am a good
housekeeper and a good mother; but I have no
way to earn my living. I don't know how to do
anything except to take care of my family.
What is there in the world^for me?"
Such as these are hard cases, but there can be
but one answer: "Take your children, if you
can ^et them, and march out into the world
anywhere. ^*lace the little ones in the care of
friends, or in an asylum, if their father will not
contribute to their support, and then go to work
at something. Better be a cook, waitress, scul-
lion even, than an adulteress, than the unwilling
victim of a man's lust, whose love you know is
given to an another."
" But if I remain, my children can be taken
care of, educated, and brought to fill positions of
which I may be proud."
UP BROADWAY. 177
"True, but do you realize that by remaining
you will probably bring more illegitimate chil-
dren into the world? for as sure as truth is supe-
rior to falsehood, virtue to immorality, love to
lust, every child who is not an offspring of love is
bastard." Look about among your friends, oh ye
of little faith, oh ye who have been fettered with
false ideas and ridiculous quibbles in reference
to love and duty. Count those among your
friends whom you believe to be honest in their
relations with each other, see if you do not find
those whom even you, bound as you are by the
world's conventionalisms, believe would be better
off apart ! No woman owes anything to a man
who is unkind or unloving ; no man to a woman
for whom he finds he has no affection or sym-
pathy that is, so far as the intimate relations
of husband and wife are concerned. If he have
sufficient nobility to wish to provide for the
future of his legal partner until she shall have
found a w r ay to support herself or be taken care
of by another, all right, if she feels like accepting
such assistance. As the woman has most to lose
by such separation, in a pecuniary point of view,
178 SEQUEL TO
it seems to me simply foolish for her to refuse
pecuniary aid when offered, as many women
have, to my certain knowledge. There are cases
of simple uncongeniality, where the parties impli-
cated are too high toned and well bred to quar-
rel, and where nothing can be brought against
either save a non-conformity of taste and affec-
tion. The same rule applies to this as to others.
The act of conjugality without true conjugal love
to inspire it is the meanest, the most despicable
act to conceive of. It is a direct sin against God,
a violation of His expressed commands. Thank
Heaven ! men and women are fast waking up to
these truths ; and the day that prostitution in so-
called married life is abandoned, that day will
show fewer brazen females on our streets and
fewer adulterers. This woman marries for a
home and a maintenance ; this man because the
woman is beautiful, accomplished, and sought
after by others ; or she is rich, and of aristocratic
parents. Everything under the sun is brought
into matrimony except the very question which
legitimately belongs there, the question of fit-
ness, adaptability, soul-fitness and sympathy, in
UP BROADWAY. 179
other words, love. Many are linked by the law
of whom nothing detrimental can be said. They
are honest, conscientious persons, members of the
same church, perhaps, and yet they do not agree.
They irritate and annoy each other, and two
lives are made more miserable than words can
describe. Neither can understand the reasons
for such disagreement, because both are perfectly
aware of each other's good qualities. Now, this
is easily explained. There are, we know, chemi-
cal properties which no amount of coaxing will
cause to unite. Oil and water, both extremely
useful ingredients, will not mix, though one
should stir forever. So some persons, pure and
unexceptional in character, will not blend for
similar reasons ; and it is the height of folly to
break one's heart in the vain attempt to bring into
congenial relations souls which were never in-
tended to mate. The only argument which pre-
sent conservatives bring upon this matter, is,
" How is a man or woman going to know when
he or she has found the mate? Many marry, not
only believing that they love, but that the object
of their love is endowed with every imaginable
180 SEQUEL TO
virtue. After a short married experience they
discover their mistake. What then? Shall they
leave these partners and try it again? If so,
what guarantee can you give that another mis-
take shall not be made ? " The answer to this,
it seems to us, must be that there is no such thing
as an absolute guarantee possible. in any human
affairs. To do the best one can is all that is
required of poor humanity. That a man and
woman stand before a priest, and vow to love,
honor, and cherish each other till death, is cer-
tainly no guarantee that they will do so. And
when this man and woman find, after mutual and
conscientious effort, that they are absolutely
unable to keep that vow; that, instead of attract-
ing, they repel each other more and more Jhe
longer they live together, it is difficult for any
reasonable person to understand why they should
remain in bondage. Then as to the forming of
a second tie. The guarantee against a second
mistake must lie with the individuals themselves.
In proportion as they have availed themselves of
the benefits of experience ; in proportion as they
are pure, and of matured and cultivated judg-
UP BROADWAY. 181
ment ; in proportion as they make conjugal love
a part of their religion, and enter into it purely
and unselfishly, they will be guaranteed against
all failure in love relations. The great fact that
very few separations take place in the case of
those who have married from pure, unbiased
choice is the most powerful of all arguments.
Most marriages are, to more or less extent, mar-
riages de convenance. Ambition and necessity
rule women in their choice of husbands far more
than love. All the business of this life is ex-
perimental. Nothing is absolutely guaranteed;
everything must be tried for ; and all protestant-
ism is but a slipping off of the guaranteed noose.
Do you still ask why Eleanor Kirk wrote " Up
Broadway ? " First, because the story was true,
and she considered it right to do so, and felt that
hosts of struggling women would be awakened
to a sense of their terrible positions, and by the
simple narrative given strength to conquer. The
courage to publish it must have come from above,
for that it required a few grains of this ex-
tremely useful quality she has no wish to deny.
Had she not been on the most intimate terms
182 SEQUEL TO
with a woman who had suffered in her own per-
son every description of abuse and indignity
possible to conceive of, she would not probably
have been so deeply interested in the woes of
ethers. "A fellow feeling makes us wondrous
kind." Not that there was any similarity in the
species of suffering, not the slightest ; but con-
tact with misery had aroused her most loving
sympathies, and, consequently, made her more
willing to be of service to the down-trodden.
Let Eleanor tell you about this woman, and then
see if you wonder that she at last gained strength
to cry out against all kinds of intolerance.
Some years ago there lived in a small country
town a young woman whose education, moral
and intellectual, had been conducted in the most
conscientious and loving manner. The utmost
liberality was shown by her parents on all sub-
jects religion, politics, and general ethics;
but on the question of marriage and its duties
no Roman Catholic bigot could have been more
unreasonable and uncharitable than was her
father; and in this atmosphere she grew to be
a woman, and married. " As you make your
UP BROADWAY. 183
bed, so must you lie " had been so carefully
instilled into the mind of our friend that she
thoroughly realized this union was for life. As
it happened, the man who had selected her for
his partner was a refined, earnest gentleman, and
no cloud arose to dim the light of their pleasant
intercourse. As it happened, I say, for she was
very young, a mere child, and her husband was
some twelve years her senior. What did this
unsophisticated girl understand of the life she
was entering upon? Nothing, of course. Mar-
riage was invested with a sort of couleur-de-rose
haze, and, from the manner of her educatio^
seemed to her the end and aim of every woman's
ambition. Did she love him \ do you ask. She
respected him, believed in him ; but the depths
of her heart had not been stirred. This affec-
tionate regard could easily pass for the genuine
article, for the young wife was of an impulsive,
demonstrative disposition, and had not attained
to full womanhood that is, she had not come
to understand the depth and richness of her own
nature. After a short and painful experience,
for her husband sickened and died, our friend
184: SEQUEL TO
was left a widow with two little ones. Then a
father's loving arms were outstretched, and under
the parental roof she and her little ones were
welcomed and cared for until the " Grim Mon-
ster" again presented himself and removed her
sole remaining relative, leaving the daughter
with her two babies and a sister only one year
older than her oldest child as heritage. Then
came the tug of war. How could she best sup-
port herself and the children entrusted to her
care ? She was a good scholar, competent to
teach music or belles-lettres, and without a parti-
cle of false pride concerning labor. So much
grevious trouble had shattered the poor child^s
health, and, mentally as well as physically disa-
bled, she cast about her for the means of support.
A few music-scholars were found. This, with
copying music for a distinguished composer,
brought her, with care and economy, sufficient
for the wants of her little family. God only
knows the anguish of that heart. As has already
been said, her parents were extremely liberal on
every subject but that of marriage. She was
the joy of her father's heart, the light of his
UP BRODWAT. 185
eyes, and the atmosphere of her home had
always been redolent with that perfect harmony
which can only spring from the purest and most
unselfish affection. What wonder that the world
seemed to her a wilderness ? What wonder that
her nights were sleepless, and that as she clasped
her little sister to her heart, the last fruit of her
parents' glorious affection, and surveyed her own
two lusty boys, she half -wished that her parents
could have taken them all along with them to
the land where, we have been taught to believe,
there is no anxiety about what we shall eat or
wherewithal we shall be clothed ! How could
she, her whole time devoted to the bread-and-but-
ter question, find time to train and educate the
precious souls thus entrusted to her care ! For
a while she worked nobly, then came temptation
in the form of a man.
" I love you," he said. " I will care for
your little ones. My business position is good.
I can give you just such a home as you deserve
to be mistress of. You shall be my wife,
and no care that love can ward off shall
come to you or yours."
186 SEQUEL TO
Two or three months previous to this offer
our friend had been steadily and surely fail-
ing in health. A physician was consulted,
"I would not give three cents for your
life if you remain here through the coming
winter. Change of air, change of scene, and
entire freedom from care, will probably res-
tore you. Medicine is of no earthly use."
Another long, wistful look at the poor lit-
tle ones. She had just commenced to under-
stand the needs of her own soul. She realized
that it was in her power to make some one
exceedingly happy, and that the right kind
of companionship must develop in her quali-
ties which, brought to fruition, would make
this world a very heaven. Could this man
satisfy the needs of her soul? Could he make
this wilderness of hers bud and blossom as
the rose ? JSTo ! That she saw at a glance.
Could she respect him? She thought she
could. Could she make him a true, earnest
wife ? Most certainly. Our friend had been
too carefully drilled in the moral code to
UP BROADWAY. 187
ever be false in action or thought, even, to
the man she had promised to obey. That
part of her education was perfect, for which
early training she devoutly thanks God and
her parents; but for that other twin-sister
doctrine, which made it imperative for her
to continue to live with a man who outraged
every noble sentiment of her soul, she feels
under no obligations. And here, let me say
a word to parents. Educate your daughters
carefully. Provide them with some trade or
profession by which they can earn their own
living' if circumstances render it necessary.
Advise them in regard to their choice of
husbands, and then if they marry, charge them
by all that is sacred in soul and body to
never allow those whom the law calls master
to impose upon or in any way abuse. Let
them feel that your arms are always ready
to clasp them, your loving sympathy awaiting
them, and make them comprehend that a
woman can be guilty of no greater sin than
bringing children into the world whose father
she had been made to loathe and despise.
188 SEQUEL TO
Higher light and intelligence came to the
subject of our story through suffering of the
most terrible description, and she cannot fail
to see that a little judicious training in refer-
ence to the duty all of God's creatures owe
themselves, as well as others, would have saved
her years of misery.
Well, what should the woman do how
choose 1 Here was sickness, and probably
after a few months' longer wrestle with pov-
erty death. There was a comfortable home,
education and plenty for her little ones, health
and strength for herself.
The man, she reasoned, must love her, or
he would never wish to marry her with these
incumbrances. Perhaps, in time, she might
learn to love him. This is just the place
where thousands of women totter and fall,
and the greatest of all reasons for the wretch-
edness so many bound by the law experience.
Instruct your daughters, also, in reference
to love. Be careful to make them understand
the difference between friendship and love.
Tell them that a woman may be pleased with
UP BROADWAY 189
the society of a man, be really very happy
in his company, prefer it to others of the
opposite sex, and yet be not in love with
him. Drill them so carefully in the different
sensations experienced by all women that they
will be quick to analyze and explain. Cause
them, if possible, to understand that true con-
jugal love springs from a thorough blending
of soul ; that it is self-sacrificing, and that the
questions of maintenance, of dollars and cents,
of brown-stone fronts and dashing turnouts,
never enter into it ; that unless they feel
willing to share discomfort, privation, ay, death
even, that they know nothing of the love which
should possess the soul of a wife.
Our friend had no time to lose. She must
choose quickly; so, without the least idea that
she was sinning against her own soul and that
of another, one evening, after a peculiarly dis-
tressing day, she placed her hand in her suitor's
and said, " Your home shall be my home ; "
and a few weeks after found her his wife.
They took a house in a neighboring city, and
here commenced the trouble of her life. She
190 SEQUEL TO
soon found that death was no disaster. Her
darlings had died, loving and blessing her;
their last words had been heavenly benedic-
tions ; their kisses and blessings had mingled
with her tears, and had taken away half the
sting of parting. How many times in her life
had she heard those familiar with grief exclaim,
" Ah ! living trouble is worse than death ! "
But she had utterly failed to understand its full
significance. Now it came over her like a great
flood, she bowed her head, saying, " "Why did
I murmur when God removed my dear ones ?
How much better would it have been for my
children had I kept steadily on and died even,
than to have placed them under the influence
and in the power of this bad man." She was
not a week married before she discovered that
her husband's intention was to keep constantly
under the effect of liquor; that when the
fumes wore off, or were slept, off, he was morose,
obstinate, and fearfully profane, until he was
again replenished. She had made a grand mis-
take. The man who called her wife Lad grossly
deceived and imposed upon her. What could
UP BROADWAY. 191
she do about it? Evidently nothing. Early
training forbade it. "As yon make your bed,
so shall you lie," was all the reply she received,
when she questioned her own soul in reference
to her terrible position. This irrational saying
has been flung quite long enough at those who
suffer from an unhappy union, and it is time
that sensible persons discovered that the whole
argument upon which is based the idea that
because one is decoyed into an unpleasant
position, they shall remain and suffer all the
misery such position entails is just as flimsy and
illogical as this : " As you make your bed, so
shall you lie!" Kidiculous! What woman
is there so weak or so foolish who would not,
finding she had failed to spread her couch
nicely, arise and make it over again ? Yes, and
keep fixing it until it does suit her! A man
finds himself in the presence of a fiend whom
he knows has murder in his soul. Shall he have
more regard for the madman's bloodthirsty
desire than he has for his own life ? Does duty
demand that he furnish him with a pistol to
blow his brains out? A man rents a house:
192 SEQUEL TO
it is represented perfect in every respect. He
lives in it a while and finds that the chimneys
are out of order, the flues defective, the roof
leaky, and the domicile in every respect un-
tenantable. The landlord obstinately refuses
to make the premises habitable. What does he
do about it ? Hemain, and have his eyes smoked
out, and his children's health destroyed? A
fool might fear the consequences of removal,
but a sensible man vacates and tries another.
Now, marriage is no more binding as a civil
contract than is this contract between landlord
and tenant. It is plain to those who will open
their eyes that no person has the least right to
remain in a position of fear or perpetual dis-
Our friend discovered this when it was too
late to avert the awful consequences.
YEAR passed; a child was born
another boy. Her two oldest childen
were just the right age to carefully
note the behavior of their step-father and be
influenced by his example. She kept them as
much out of the brute's sight as she could,
and endeavored by patience and diligent care
to counteract any influence he might exert.
A thankless task, for a man constantly excited
by alcoholic stimulants is a despot of the most
overbearing description. Expostulations were
entirely unavailing, and after the first year of
her married life she never attempted to advise
in reference to behavior, business, or the man-
agement of children. Such conversations had
invariably ended with a disturbance, from the
effect of which it was impossible to recover.
Now, look: In the commencement she did
194 SEQUEL TO
not love him; had persuaded herself that she
respected him, and that this esteem would form
a foundation upon which could be built suffi-
cient affection to last through her earthly pil-
grimage. Mistaken wof ully mistaken ! Every
woman who marries with such feelings and
for such reasons will sooner or later awaken to
the sense of her degradation. There is no way
of evading it. Through fault-finding, profanity,
and every imaginable abuse, this woman plod-
ded along, with not a ray of light to illumine
her rugged pathway. She was too proud to
impart the terrible particulars of her every-
day life, and consequently suffered alone. Did
they have visitors, there was nothing too much
that this most unnatural husband and father
could do to demonstrate his affection for his
family ; but as soon as the door closed upon
their guests he would immediately relapse into
his old moods and probably commit some fla-
grant act of cruelty to pay for this exhibition
of tenderness and good nature. So the years
passed on. Another little one was born. Dis-
sipation had now come to be felt in business,
UP BROADWAY. 195
and, after repeated efforts to reclaim this
strangely besotted man, he was finally dismissed
from the firm, and found himself without the
means of earning a dollar. From bad to worse
he then went. "Words are powerless to describe
his utter fiendishness, his lack of every manly
attribute. Night after night the suffering wife
watched for his returning footsteps, sometimes
until almost daybreak, fearing to go to bed
lest he might find her asleep and murder her.
When he found that nothing he could do or
say to her would provoke a reply, he would
frighten her about the children. More than
once he has torn the sleeping infant from its
warm rest in its loving mother's arms, placed it
on the marble mantel, and there, for a time
which seemed an eternity to the distressed
mother, make it remain, struggling and shriek-
ing. If she attempted to go to the child's
rescue, as she had on several occasions, the brute
would immediately knock her down. After a
wm'le baby would be thrown upon the bed,
196 SEQLEL TO
" Take your brat ; and I'll give him just two
minutes to stop his howling I "
"A fool to remain and endure such treat-
ment," do you say ? Give us your hand : those
are my sentiments.
" Better her children should starve." '
So 1 say. But do you not see that she was
simply a victim to the idea that a legal mar-
riage is a God-instituted ordinance, instead of
the civil contract it most certainly is ? " Whom
God hath joined together, let not man put asun-
der," she applied, like many others, to all those
who stand up before priest or minister and take
upon themselves matrimonial vows, whether true
to these vows or not.
The children were not allowed to attend
church or Sabbath-schools. Did he find one
of them reading, the book was immediately
burned. The " Sunday Mercury" and "Herald "
his wife was permitted to peruse ; but no maga-
zine, no library book, nothing of a standard
character was allowed in the house. In this
cruel manner, starved intellectually and socially, .
t this misguided woman performed what she con-
UP BROADWAY. 197
sidered to be her duty. Duty? Good heavens!
what a misnomer! In the name of all that is
good, sensible and reasonable, what did she owe
this brute ? And what did she not owe herself
"Did she wake up at last?"
Yes ; have a little patience, and I will give
you full particulars, because I lived with that
woman. Another child was born ; this time a
dear little girl. The pangs of poverty were now
keenly felt. There had been no steady occupa-
tion since the first grand smash-up. The babe
was born in the depth of winter. There was
not a particle of wood or coal in the house, and
very little to eat. What could be done ? She
was alone with her children no one to assist,
or be of the least service. She finally sent for a
neighbor, and made a clean breast of her terribly
poverty-stricken condition. Material for fire was
forthwith produced, things made comfortable, a
physician sent for, and at ten o'clock the little
one was ushered into the world. A few mo-
ments previous to its birth the father came in
cursing, and, noting the state of affairs, walked
198 SEQUEL TO
deliberately out and was not heard from until
hours after. The convalescence from this illness
was something remarkable. Without a nurse,
dependent upon the kindness of neighbors, she
gained steadily and surely, and in a month's time
was able to take her place in the family. With-
out understanding the reason for such a change
of sentiment, our friend had been completely
revolutionized. Sometimes I have whispered to-
ner that perhaps the difference in gender accom-
plished this change of feeling ; but she invaria-
bly shrugs her shoulders at the suggestion. Be
this as it may, the birth of the little girl was the
commencement of a new order of things. She
no longer cringed and trembled at her husband's
approach. He saw the difference, remarked upon
it, and was thoroughly mystified. Again she ob-
tained a few music-scholars, and endeavored to
assist in maintaining the family. Still the de-
mon alcohol reigned supreme. Never apparently
intoxicated enough to stagger, or appear like
most men when under the influence of liquor,
he was nevertheless thoroughly drunk from one
week's end to another. Valuables were sold to
UP BROADWAY. 199
satisfy this fiendish appetite, and at last came
the grand finale. One morning, after having
destroyed a set of shirts she had just finished,
on account of some imagined misfit about the
neck, after tearing into shreds the little one's
under-garments, locking the door and removing
the key the while, so that she should be com-
pelled to remain and witness the destruction,
finding that failed to extort a word of disappro-
bation, or an ill-natured remark, he seized the
sleeping infant from its crib and threatened to
dash its brains out against the mantel. With
the strength of a maniac she snatched the child
from its heartless parent, and defied him ; then,
entirely overcome with the terrible disgrace of
her position, fell upon her knees and implored
" Separate us, O Father ! " she cried. " Ee-
move me and mine from the influence of this
bad man ! Separate us by death, if it seemeth
right in Thy sight; if not, place distance be-
tween us, and help me in my newly formed
resolve to do my duty by myself and my chil-
200 SEQUEL TO
dren ! Guide and guard, O Father, and give me
strength to conquer ! "
" Good ! " exclaimed the brute, as she
arose from her knees, full of faith that her
prayer would be answered. " Do you feel as
bad as that ? " and without another word he un-
locked the door and left the house. There was
a terrible something in her manner which, reck-
less and fallen as he was, checked further display
of brutality, and awed him into a cessation of
hostilities. Nothing but utter desperation could
have driven her to her knees in his presence, for
he had always sneered at every high-toned ex-
pression or noble sentiment. She had never
dared to speak of God or His attributes, as the
least approach to religious subjects would pro-
voke the most fearful language possible tp con-
" Your prayer is answered, Nell," said he,
coming in late the same afternoon. " I have
to-day had an agency offered me, which I have
concluded to accept. "Will you help me get
ready ? I shall leave for the West to-morrow
UP BROADWAY. 201
Never did woman set about a pleasanter
task. She was to receive a sum weekly from
her husband's employer sufficient for the com-
fortable support of her family. Perhaps, she
argued, when separated from his bacchanalian
companions he may understanding by bitter
experience how difficult it is for a man to ob-
tain a business position after having been igno-
ininiously discharged from a first-class firm go
about his work with a determination to succeed.
Still she felt that her position was a very preca-
rious one, and decided that she would endeavor,
with the assistance of a few friends, to obtain
some employment by which she might earn in*
dependence for herself and darlings. She could
not afford a servant, and thus the whole care and
drudgery of the establishment devolved upon her,
weak and trembling from ill-treatment and over-
exertion. She consulted with her sister, who,
young as she was, had graduated from a public
school with the highest honors of her class and a
scholarship. For this the child had labored m-
defatigably, and when she discovered the prize
was hers her joy knew no bounds.
202 SEQUEL TO
"It is mine, sister! It is mine!" she ex-
claimed. " Now I can have a thorough classical
education. All you will have to do will be to
buy my books and make me "presentable."
" It shall be accomplished some way," de-
clared the senior, although she knew it would
require almost superhuman exertion on her part.
If the salary continued she thought it would be
possible to carry out the pet plan, and also to
keep her two oldest boys at school, and person-
ally superintend their education; and the end
she knew would amply compensate for all the
weariness and heart-ache which must inevitably
attend a life entirely devoted to the physical and
intellectual needs of others. But God she knew
would smile on such efforts ; and with a heart
full of gratitude that her prayer had been
answered, and the man whose name she bore
removed from herself and children, went bravely
to work, Four music-scholars were obtained, the
sum derived from such teaching to be devoted
to educational purposes. The girl-baby ten
months old was drilled to take very good care
of herself, and while these lessons were going on
UP BROADWAY. 203
sat in her little chair close by, and added many
a delicious tremulant to the solfeggios of
her pupils' instruction-books ; while three-year-
old Josey sat in state on the sofa, vaguely under-
standing that mamma was engaged in something
which required not only her closest attention, but
his best behavior. So the days wore until the so-
called husband and father had been gone two
weeks. Then came a crash which threatened to
completely crush both strength and ambition.
The house agent called. Our friend had been
given to understand that the rent for that month
had been paid. The agent, however, represented
it otherwise, and having had the most disgraceful
experience in reference to payments of this kind,
had no thought qf questioning the claim of the
landlord. For some reason, which Nellie could
not for her life understand, he chose to work
himself into a fury exceedingly unbecoming to
a man of his excessively contemptible appear^
ance ; for anger is too dignified a passion to be
indulged in by a man without soul, . He coolly
informed her that he knew her husband did not
intend to pay the rent, and that he supposed her
204 SEQUEL TO
intentions were similar ; that she undoubtedly
had money in her possession, and had better
"fork over." The first statement was quite as
clear to her as to the intruder. The male occu-
pant of the premises had never intended to settle
any bills which had the least reference to the
comfort of his family. The other taunts were
not at all calculated to soothe the spirit of our
rather impetuous friend. She gave him a tem-
perate explanation of the disabilities of the case,
and a promise that he should be partly paid the
coming week, on the receipt of her weekly allow-
ance. It was of no avail. Finding that he still
persisted in his insulting demeanor, threatening
to serve a writ of ejection upon her, she rose to
the level of the occasion, and informed him that
possession was nine points of the law ; that while
she occupied the mansion it was her castle ; and
that if his own instincts did not serve him to find
the door, the aid of a policeman would be in-
voked. Whereupon he left, but soon returned
with an officer, who served the writ upon her
without mercy. Here was a situation for a deli-
cate woman, with a baby of ten months old, and
UP BROADWAY. 205
four other children, besides her young sister, to
provide for. A kind neighbor consenting to care
for the babies in her absence, she sallied forth,
strong in mother love, but weak in courage,
to try to find a shelter for those little heads so
precious to her. In vain! Rooms there were
in plenty, but not for women with little
children and without husbands to secure the
payment of the rent. Ay, Nellie was dis-
couraged, and yet her dismay did not prevent
indignation. " Because I am a woman is every
door to be thus shut against me?" she asked
herself. "Have not I hands to labor? Have I
not a willing heart, as well as a man ? and can-
not these dolts see that there is honest purpose in
my eyes, and intense resolution written in every
line of my face ? " Surely any one who had the
least knowledge of physiognomy, either by book-
learning or by natural instinct, could not have
failed to see that there was a spirit in the woman
that the delicate and frail tenement it inhabited
could scarely suffice to hold. Such a one would
not have doubted that she would have died
rather than not do and dare anything for her
206 SEQUEL TO
babes. It was the eagle with broken wing, in-
deed, but an eagle still, intent on her eyrie, and
never to be content until her eaglets' mouths
should be filled and the nest made comfortable.
Such a woman can never stop when her mater-
nal duties are done. Winnowing the void air in
pursuit of food and shelter had likewise opened
her eyes to new views of life, new duties, and
new objects of endeavor. She now saw how her
own sex was enslaved. Strange, it had never
come home to her before. She noted how com-
pletely avenues of successful labor were closed
to them ; how every arrangement of society
had reference to their imprisonment in some
form or other. Looking at her own arms,
chafed with the iron . of her own fetters, her
eyes were opened to see the same scars on
millions of her sisters. The great question
of the "rights of women" assumed gigantic
proportions, and while travelling from house
to house, and agent to agent, her whole heart-
aching, soul-harrowing experience passed in
review before her. Never before had she given
the subject the least consideration. True, she
VT BfiOADWAY. 207
had heard of Miss Anthony, and Mrs. Stanton,
and a few others who were laboring for what
they termed the emancipation of woman. Old
prejudices, early training, a lack of ability to
keep up with the times, had, strangely enough,
placed the workers in this movement in anything
but a favorable light. They had always ap-
peared to her like bold, if not immodest women,
and the very idea of a woman's desiring the
ballot was quite sufficient to condemn her in the
eyes of our friend. Now she plainly saw that
simply because she was not a citizen, or, in other
words, had not a legal right to live and labor
like her brother, she was denied a roof to
shelter her children. While waiting at the
office of a house agent for the clerk to make
out a list of unoccupied rooms, a man stepped
up to the desk and inquired for apartments.
"Here you are," said the clerk, mentioning
a part of a house which he had just denied
her on account of her children. Mortified and
annoyed that, simply on account of a difference
of sex, this biped by her side, who did not look
as if he possessed sufficient vim to take care
208 SEQUEL TO
of himself, could have just what he desired,
without being asked a single question, she re-
marked to the agent,
"But, sir, you must certainly have forgotten
to make any inquiries in reference to the gen-
"You mean children, I suppose," laughed
the agent. "But have you not found out that
a man looking for a house with a family of
children is a very different affair from a
woman in the same situation? You have
stated to us that your husband is away from
home, and have not said a word about security.
This man I know ; he has a trade, and I shall
have no difficulty in collecting my rent. That's
where the rub comes, my dear woman."
"Why hadn't you told me this in the first
place," she indignantly made answer, "instead
of trying to make me believe my children were
the only obstacles?"
" Oh ! " replied the smooth-tongued proprietor,
"we do prefer to rent these rooms to a man
and his wife; but when we are well acquainted
with the parties, as in this instance, you can
UP BROAD WA Y. 209
see yourself that it makes all the difference in
Yes, indeed ; she plainly saw that there was
all the difference in the world between men
and women, in pursuit of the same object, and
that custom manufactured by an erroneous
idea of a masculine kingship in the world
had placed woman in the condition of a being
who could exist only by sufferance in the royal
domain of her lord and master.
"What is this marriage?" she asked herself,
w r ith bitter inward searching. "Here am 1, a
woman, with loves, hopes, aspirations, and a
sense of growing wings, and a panting after the
pure atmosphere of truth and reality. Shams
have come to be miasma to my soul ; and there
is that man, low, grovelling, sensual; farther
from me in spirit than east is from the west;
more diverse from me in his tastes and pur-
suits than is the carrion kite from the eagle,
and behold, he holds the key of my being, and
is supposed to lock and unlock at his pleasure
the receptacle of my will. He is the arbiter
of my destiny, the lawful owner of my body,
210 SEQUEL TO
my soul, my time, my earnings, my children.
He can live with me, and provide for me when
it pleases him; and when his tastes so incline
him he can leave me to seek his own pleasure,
and utterly fail to provide either for me or for
the children I have borne. He can exhaust all
his ingenuity in devising petty cruelties to
inflict on me and mine. He can subject me
to his unnatural lusts, and my babies to his
vile example and teachings. And in all this I
am utterly powerless. The law furnishes me
no escape. There is only one loop-hole of
release from this most horrible slavery, and
that is the possibility of being able to prove
him guilty of adultery in flagrantc delicto.
The fact that he is a most gross adulterer, and
has daily sought to debase me and mine to his
own beastly level, does not avail me: the law
has no reference to motives, but only to acts;
and no reference to acts not admissible of the
strictest proof. Two facts stand out pre-emi-
nently : First, I am a woman possessed of no
political rights, and consequently shut out from
all social privileges and remunerative employ-
UP BROADWAY. 211
ment, and on this account denied even a roof
to shelter my children ; and next, I am a
legally-made wife, and the law makes it dis-
graceful for such a one to take the first step
Cast down, yet not quite in despair, for in
some strange, incomprehensible manner the
mere turning over of these questions in her
mind had given a force to her will which
made fighting a deal easier than it had first
appeared, our friend enters the house that she
feels is no longer a shelter for her and her
precious ones. What shall she do ? The heav-
ens were dark to her; light seemed to have
faded out of the sky. "Where will she and her
children go, when the cruel summons comes to
leave their present quarters? She stood look-
ing moodily and carelessly out of the window,
as though she were trying to realize that out
of doors was all that was left her, and to
study the possibility of any comfort, any char-
ity, any hope being able to come to her out of
the cold, hard pavement, or the chill November
212 SEQUEL TO
"Has God forsaken me?" she asked herself;
"and is this the fruit I am to reap after
my weary planting? Yerily, it is Dead Sea
fruit, and all the bitterer that my children
must eat it as well as I."
But God had not forsaken her. He had yet
need of her. A friend and neighbor entered
at this juncture a lady in every way fitted
to sympathize with and assist our friend.
Warm-hearted and possessed of ample means,
she at once volunteered to advance her what
was needed to help her out of her present
trouble. With this sudden and unexpected
lifting of the cloud that had obscured her
prospects, came corresponding joy; for she
was one of those chameleon natures that take
the color of what they feed on; and as hith-
erto the bitter waters had filled her soul, so
now the sweet wine of human sympathy
cheered her heart like a medicine. Pressing
her babies to her heart, in a transport of re-
newed hope and joy, she hurried down to
the agent with the money which was to secure
her another month at least of proprietorship
UP BROADWAY. 213
of house and home. No mercenary tyrant
would now, for a time at least, dare to ques-
tion her right to the protection of a roof.
Oh! the blessed sense of having a right some-
where to a spot that we could call home,
a right that no other human being can dis-
pute. This sense was Nellie's as now she
retraced her steps to her own home, the
home where all her treasures were gathered.
But the cup of joy is never unmixed in this
world. That very evening our heroine was
to discover that the weekly stipend she was
to receive from her husband's employer had
failed her. The merchant for whom he had
gone as commercial traveller informed her
that he could pay no more salary until her
legal protector (?) should have been heard
from, as the latter had valuable samples that
might easily be turned to pecuniary account.
Nellie, being a reasonable women, could not
but see the justice of . this, hard as it was for
her to accept the consequences. The mer-
chant's conduct was kind and gentlemanly,
though, of course, his hopes that she would
get along, etc., seemed rather like the offer
of a fair-looking stone in the place of the
bread she was so much in need of. She had
not yet learned the hard lesson that subse-
quent contact with the world taught her, that
while simple justice was a scarce commodity
in society, generosity was still scarcer; and
that a woman, exposing her heart to the .sharp
corners of business life, must either suffer or
grow callous. Nothing was heard from the
derelict spouse. Thrown now entirely upon
her own resources, our friend began at once
to call her forces together. The eldest boy
was taken from school and placed in a tea-
broker's office in "Wall street ; the second, a
mere child, obtained a situation in a store, as
cash-boy. The young sister, whose progress
as a scholar had elicited such high hopes of
ultimate distinction, was also taken from her
studies and obliged to contribute towards the
great work of bread-winning. The music pu-
pils were but few, and the proceeds from that
quarter totally inadequate for the support of
the family. Work of some kind must be
UP BROAD WA F. 215
solicited, and that speedily. The first thing
done in the needlework line was some em-
broidery for Lord & Taylor. The young sis-
ter applied in answer to an advertisement,
and on giving satisfactory references was al-
lowed the privilege of elaborately embroider-
ing a child's heavy pique cloak and cape, for
which, after ten days' steady work, she was
allowed the munificent sum of one dollar and
seventy-five cents. True, both embroiderers
were entirely unskilled, and true that one
accustomed to such work could have accom-
plished it in half the time ; but that the
compensation was in no way proportionate to
the amount of labor, all must perceive who
have the least conception of the number of
delicate stitches elaborately-made garments of
this description require. No more embroidery
was of course attempted. Work must be
sought, and a kind of work that would fill
the children's mouths. With a courageous
heart our little friend applied to various fam-
ilies at random. Strange to say, she met with
considerable success. Her sweet, earnest ex-
216 SEQUEL TO
pression, so full of honest purpose and deter-
mination to succeed, went straight to the
hearts of many women, who, engrossed in
domestic and social duties, scarcely ever give
a thought to the struggling millions crying
out for the means of honest livelihood. But
oh! who shall tell, as it ought to be told, of
the covert insult and suspicion which she was
obliged to encounter of the many snares laid
for her tender feet? Does the correct and
prosperous and polite world know to what
suspicion and insolent advances a young and
pretty woman exposes herself, who dares, being
poor and hungry, to seek for work? For in-
stance, our friend advertised for shirts to
make. Answers to these advertisements were
plentiful. Young men called, not with the
intention of having shirts made, but with the
understanding that the advertisement was a
ruse to cover some less respectable proposi-
tion. One man called, and, seating himself,
very cavalierly began a conversation on the
general topics of the day. The advertisement
was reverted to by the ladies, but the sugges-
UP BROAD WAT. 217
tion was waived by the intruder, and subjects
entirely irrelevant to the shirt question at
issue discussed very intelligently; for the man
was well educated and unusually brilliant.
His questions were answered in a quiet and
lady-like manner, and then business again re-
verted to by the hostess. A strange smile
played around the villain's handsome mouth
as he replied,
"Shirts, ladies? Shirts? I cannot for the
life of me understand why ladies^ of your
elegant appearance should advertise for shirts
to make. Some other style of invitation would
have answered your purpose just as well,
"And," interrupted the elder sister, rising,
"you have evidently entirely mistaken the
motives which prompted the insertion of that
advertisement. You will have the kindness,
sir, to leave the house as quickly as you can
make it convenient."
"With a muttered curse the scamp left. Hav-
ing never seen this man before, it might be
thought the probabilities were that this would
218 SEQUEL TO
be the last time the ladies would meet him.
But although in the kaleidoscope changes of this
life of ours the same combinations rarely occur,
it does happen once in a while, by some inscruta-
ble agency, and for some strange purpose, that
the very persons whom one would wish to avoid,
and be unrecognized by, are the ones met.
When, after a little time, our friends, by their
success in the branch of literature they had un-
dertaken, were able once again to enter the
circle of society from which their poverty had
for years debarred them, it was their fortune
frequently to meet this man who had been
ready to insult them in their need. It is need-
less to say he was what is popularly termed a
" ladies' man ;" and though there were more
than whispered surmises afloat of immoralities
which, were society on a really moral basis,
would be sufficient to ostracize the perpetrator
from the pale of every decent family in the
community, he was courted, flattered, and
pampered by almost every woman he met.
Mothers invited the polished rottenness to their
homes, and seated him at their tables by their
UP BROADWAY. 219
daughters, whom, had they been the guilty
partners of his offence, they, the mothers
who bore them, would have doomed to exile
from home, or at least to the utmost social ex-
clusion. He was courted, not as a man, but as a
husband. His great wealth and the appoint-
ments of an elegant establishment were objects
of envy to the opposite sex. These he could
give to the wife whose education had fitted her
for nothing better than the life of a mute bird
in a gilded cage, of a petted slave in a palace.
As a man, he might be vile, reckless, and devil-
ish; as a legalized husband, the union blessed
by the blasphemously misconstrued words of di-
vinity, "Whom God hath joined together let
not man put asunder," he might own and do as
he pleased with the wife who was sold to him.
This is what the laws of the State of New
York and the tone of society bring us to. This
is the effect of that system of education and
misconstruction of Christianity which gives us
two moral codes, one for man and another for
woman, instead of the same law for both.
Not for all the world would I have women
220 SEQUEL TO
less pure than they are, not for all the world
would I have them allowed the license that is
given to men ; but I would have men obliged
to hold their positions by as stern rules as they
demand women to live by. I would have them
feel under obligations to be as clean and pure
as they expect their wives and sisters to be;
and, above all, I would have women demand
it of them. The majority of women (shame
that it should be true) are exacting to the
uttermost with women. If a sister slips she
must fall; and fallen, she must be trampled
down into the very mud of disgrace and deg-
radation by her own sex, while they smile upon,
and perhaps rnarry, her seducer. "Women shut
the doors of society against her, and she may
walk the streets hell ward, even into its very
chasm, and be swallowed up by the whirlpool
of pollution, while the tempter and partner of
her sin is feted and caressed by morally severe
matrons, and their daughters, carefully in-
structed in blandishments, and drilled in arts,
are set as baits to trap him into matrimony.
!Nbne who really understand the working of
UP BROADWAY. 221
that moral sham which is known as good society
will deny the truth of this statement. "Women
are educated for but one purpose marriage.
Not for its duties, either, but its position, and
what they are taught to regard as its protection.
If these fail them, they are left either to a de-
grading dependence or to a weary struggle for
independence against such obstacles as we have
cited, and hundreds of others which men, in
adopting a career or profession can know noth-
ing of. The morality of our society does not
demand that a pure affection should be the
motive to this union which it professes to con-
sider so sacred that nothing but death may
dissolve it, unless it be the one crime of adultery.
It may be policy, it may be lust of the eyes,
or lust of the flesh, or the pride of the world
that imites the two in this bond. Society and
our laws, our church even, demand nothing of
the motive so the rite is consummated. Mar-
riage is sacred, says the oracle. As if any form,
civil or religious, could consecrate such unions
as those we have referred to! Legalize them
the " contract " or the priestly benediction may,
222 SEQUEL TO
but make them pure and holy, and free them
from being adulterous in the sight of God
never ! Yet ordained ministers of the Gospel,
anointed priests of the Most High, lend their
aid to bind such elements together. Notwith-
standing the fiat of the law that marriage is
here only a civil contract, and while Mr.
Beecher hesitates not to say that he performs
the ceremony merely as a civil magistrate, yet
prayer and religious rites, even to the benedic-
tion allowed by the church only to be pro-
nounced by her ministry, are used when
The Rev. Mr. Gallagher, a popular divine in
the City of Churches, in an eloquent sermon
upon "Our Father," a short time ago, openly
avowed that he had joined those together whom
God would have had remain asunder, had acted
officially at marriages which he knew God neither
sanctioned nor approved, and the consequences of
which he felt sure would be disastrous. Now,
that minister is 110 exception to the general cleri-
cal rule, save in the matter of frankness. Is it
not evident to every one that many such mock-
marriges are performed by clergymen every day ?
Marriages with which these very reverend gyve-
fasteners know that God has nothing to do. And
if man shall not put asunder what God has joined
together, how shall it be with those whom He
has not joined? Is the disciple above his Master
in this matter ? and is the sanction of a man to
outweigh and overrule that of God himself?
For our part we believe what God has joined
together man never can put asunder ; and as for
what He has not joined the sooner it is loosed
But to our story. For two months the wolf
Hunger was kept away from our friend's door,
but the terrible amount of household labor,
together with sewing, music-teaching, and the
demands of a nursing infant, proved too much
for her, and she rapidly failed in health. "What
could be done? Everything that human ingenu-
ity could devise had been tried. The old pul-
monary complaint developed itself in a frightful
manner. Sewing dragged. Hope failed. Faith
in God's goodness grew dim. Orders were neg-
lected. What in the world should she do, now
224: SEQUEL TO
that illness had overtaken her ? To whom should
she turn ? The rent had been punctually paid ;
now the chances were that she should no longer
be able to keep a roof over her children's heads.
What would become of her little ones ? Only a
mother can realize the depth and intensity of
this mother's anguish. The pittance brought in
by the little boys every Saturday, and the small
amount her sister was able to earn, had now to
suffice.. This sum would not procure sufficient
food for the family, to say nothing of rent, coal,
wood, and the thousand and one expenses so
necessary to the comfort of a household. " Why
don't you write?" had more than once been
asked her by friends anxious for her success.
" It seems to me you possess the elements of a
writer. Why don't you try ? " The knowledge
that thousands of women in similar circum-
stances had turned to literature as a last resort,
and failed utterly, had deterred her from the
attempt ; but now in the midst of this wreck,
this confusion, this terrible heart-rending suffer-
ing, came the knowledge that she must make one
more trial before deserting the ship.
UP BROADWAY. 225
Many a time had she, when a child, sat upon
her father's knee, after a hard lesson in mathe-
matics, and listened to a favorite song of his,
sung on these occasions to comfort the little
daughter so dear to him, and give her strength
and " spunk," as he facetiously called it, to pur-
sue her studies faithfully. Each verse ended
with "Never give up the ship, boys! Never
give up the ship ! "
The idea of being driven into literature was
terribly obnoxious, for she argued that it was
impossible for any one smarting from the goad-
ing lash of poverty supposing he or she pos-
sessed of sufficient talent to attain a respecta-
ble position among writers. One more trial
must she endure before sufficient courage could
be given her for the attempt.
It was evening, cold and bleak. A failure to
pay the gas-bill had resulted in a removal of the
connection pipe, and so, by the light of a soli-
tary candle, she prepared the scanty supper for
her family. It consisted of bread and milk. The
baby cried for want of proper nourishment, but
bread and milk could not be partaken of by the
226 SEQUEL TO UP BROADWAY.
mother if baby starved and died. So weak tea
took the place of food, and hot tears rained
down upon the little upturned face, whose won-
dering expression seemed to say, " "What have I
done that I must be starved in this strange man-
ner ?" So without a murmer for the children
well understood that their mother had strained
every nerve to procure them food, and were
heart-broken at her miserable appearance the
little ones were tucked into bed. Their inno-
cent petitions ascended to the throne of love
and mercy, and childlike and simple though
they were, we believe and know that they were
heard and answered, and that speedily. Pre-
cious little three-year-old having repeated " Now
I lay me down to sleep," &c., and asked God to
bless all his relations and acquaintances, ended
with this extremely practical entreaty : " Make
Josey a good little boy; and please, dear God,
send Josey some more milk."
1HE mother took the little fellow in her
arms, pressed him to her heart, and
vowed, then and there, that, in spite of
ill-health, in spite of the terrible network of cir-
cumstances wound about her, in spite of cold,
hunger, and starvation, she would never "give
up the ship " until she had reached a place where
not only little Josey could have all the milk he
desired, but where she herself should be able to
say, " I have conquered ; I have secured hon-
orable independence for myself and children."
Never before had she been so completely bereft,
and never before so profoundly certain of suc-
cess. Go away illness ; go away repining. No
more time to think of aches and troubles. But
what shall she do ? Ay, what ? " Well, some-
thing," she whispered to herself ; " and some-
thing, too, that will pay." Just then the door-
228 SEQUEL TO
bell announced that some one friend or enemy
desired to enter. Our friend had learned,
from the bitterest experience, that a person to
whom she owed a dollar was an enemy of the
most unrelenting description; and although her
debts were by no means numerous, yet a pull of
the bell was sufficient to throw her into a state
of nervous excitement impossible to describe.
Only those who have had similar experiences can
form the least idea of the soul travail consequent
upon such terrible excitement. An exceedingly
pleasant face met her as she opened the door,
proving to be a gentleman who had visited the
house on several occasions by her husband's in-
" I have just heard," said he, " that you were
in great trouble, and have called to express my
sympathy, and see if I could not be of service to
you and your little family."
Her heart almost stopped beating with the joy
of the moment. She knew he was a very wealthy
and influential man ; and it was in his power to
do her a great service if he chose ; and the kind
expression lighting up the visitor's face gave de-
UP BROAD WA F. 229
cided assurance that lie intended to assist her in
some way. " Oh ! " she thought, " if he will only
help me to a position where I can support my-
self, I shall soon be able to return the obliga-
tion." After several questions in reference to
her terrible condition, and a few well-timed as-
surances of sympathy, he at last approached the
errand which had brought him to our friend's
" I have come to make you a proposition," he
said. " You must have seen, on the few occa-
sions I have dined at your house, that I not only
admired you very much, but was quite capable
of appreciating a woman of your calibre. I feel
sure that you and I can come to terms without
the least trouble."
" Most likely," replied Nellie ; " for I am will-
ing to do anything which will bring to myself
and family an honorable maintenance. I am
almost distracted with these wretched circum-
stances and my fearfully unprotected position."
" I understand and appreciate it, madam, and
will protect and care for you with my life if
necessary. You are in delicate health, and quite
230 SEQUEL TO
unfitted even for the ordinary ups and downs of
this strange world. Let me tell you about my-
self. I have a nice house in street, com-
fortably furnished, and perfectly convenient. I
am a married man, I suppose you know," he con-
tinued, " but my wife has been an invalid for
some years, and on this account my home is not
so pleasant as it otherwise would be."
"What could it mean?" she asked herself.
He surely woi^ld not invite her to take charge
of his establishment. So many children in the
house with an invalid would never do, of course,
and what could it be ? Her eyes must have ex-
pressed wonderment, for he continued still in the
same cool, business manner,
" My dear lady, do not misunderstand me. I
will educate your children exactly in accordance
with your preferences. Everything, in fact, shall
be as you wish it. You will be perfect mistress
of your house and of your own actions, and once
a week I shall have the pleasure of meeting
A strange blindness came over Nellie's percep-
tions. Looking at him with that vertical corru-
UP BMOADWAY. 231
gation of the brow and diminution of the pupils
of the eye which indicate extreme bewilderment,
" And why? What am I to do for all this?
What equivalent am I expected to give you for
so liberal a compensation ? "
His face took a look of amaze at this ques-
"Is it possible," he inquired, "that you still
misunderstar.d my meaning? But surely you
must comprehend me ; and to prove to you if
your doubt lies in that direction that I actually
mean business, I hereby beg leave to deposit with
you five hundred dollars with which to make
yourself and family comfortable until "-
Quick as a flash the truant senses returned to
our heroine, and with them furious indignation.
As he laid the notes on her lap they were new
notes, beautiful, fresh, and tempting! she took
them between her fingers and twisted them until
they came apart, then throwing them, in a storm
of scorn and anger upon the floor, said,
" I have put my children to bed hungry to-
iiight, sir, and have scarcely tasted food for two
232 SEQUEL TO
days myself, and as far as the body is concerned
am ready to perish. There lies the money with
which you would tempt me to earn the wages
of sin and shame ! Take it, and with it the
recollection that you have met one woman who
would a million times rather starve herself, and
see her children drop dead at her feet, than be-
come the victim of any man's lust. Take it, and
leave my house this instant, and never dare show
your villainous face to me again."
Utterly crestfallen, he stooped to pick up the
torn notes, and then, turning on his heel, without
a word complied with her emphatic invitation,
even to the last clause, for she never did see his
face again. A day or two after, however, came
a grocer's wagon to her door, with a supply of
provisions sufficient to last for a considerable
time ; and, though no name was sent with them,
she felt sure that this man was the donor. The
City Hall clock pealed out the hour of nine as
her visitor departed. She closed the doors, and
then looked her situation full in the face again.
Had God quite forsaken her ? she asked herself.
Had the good angels forgotten all about herself
UP BROADWAY. 233
and dear ones ? Something must be done. The
babies had sobbed themselves to sleep. Tear-
drops still glistened on little Josey's cheek. She
was so faint herself from long fasting that she
could with difficulty lift baby, who refused to
be comforted without another attempt to draw
sustenance from the fount which never before
had so entirely failed her. Her duty was now
plain. The probabilities were, if she waited until
morning before an effort was made to procure
food she would be too ill to take further care of
her family. So, with the moaning infant in her
arms, she knocked at the door of a neighbor's
house. Even then pride was mighty. How could
she tell a human soul of her starving condition ?
What though the neighbor was a friend one
who had always appeared interested in every-
thing concerning her this was begging, nothing
else. As she stood waiting for the door to open
memory went back to the funeral sermon
preached at the burial of her father, when the
minister had declared that the seed of the right-
eous should never be forsaken, and yet here she
was begging bread. What wonder, then, that
234: SEQUEL TO
the poor woman doubted that such a thing as
justice ever existed; that she questioned all good-
ness and mercy, and asked herself, as millions
have before, what possible good such wretched-
ness could accomplish. The door was opened
by the lady herself.
" Why, my dear," she inquired, " what is the
matter? You are as pale as death; and the
baby, too, out at this time of night! Why,
child, what has happened? Has he got home?"
Not a man, woman, or child in the neighbor-
hood but detested the man our friend called
husband, and the neighbors naturally concluded
that this might probably account for her hag-
gard appearance and evident distress.
"No; I have not heard a word from that
quarter," replied Nellie; "but my children are
starving, and I am so weak from continued
fasting that I can hardly stand. For Heaven's
sake attend to us quickly, or we shall die ! "
"Oh! how could you?" cried the neighbor.
" My dear, how could you suffer so without tell-
ing me ? You know I love you as one of my own
UP BROADWAY. 235
If there happen to be any among my readers
who know from experience what hunger is, they
can appreciate the feelings of our friend, when
she re-entered her own house supplied with an
ample supper for her children. The two older
ones were lying awake, growing boys with
healthy appetites, who had gone supperless to bed
after a day of scanty fare. Little Josey, whose
patient suffering had so pierced his mother's
heart, w T hen plaintively asking God for "some
more milk," was waked from the sobbing sleep
he had fallen into, and fed, as were all the rest,
with good, nourishing food. Starvation was once
more warded off. Now what should she do?
She could not subsist on charity. " I will try and
write something," she murmured softly to herself.
" Who knows but I may succeed. Surely every
avenue of honorable employment cannot be
closed against me." All alone, in the still hours
of night, by the light of a solitary flickering
candle, she commenced her work. Eleven
twelve one two three o'clock sounded out
on the calm night, and still she wrote. ISTo sound
was heard save the steady scratching of the pen,
236 SEQUEL TO
and the breathing of the sleeping little ones,
which latter sound seemed to spur her more
earnestly on. As a lover of music marches ani-
matedly and in good time to the strains of martial
melody, so did this anxious, earnest mother write
to the music of her children's breathing. Four
o'clock, and the manuscript was finished. Trem-
bling with mingled hope and fear she read it
carefully through, and then, tying it lovingly up
with a piece of blue ribbon, laid it away and re-
tired. The morning light found her dubious and
almost hopeless. She was aware how hard it was
for one not possessed of any literary reputation
to sell anything. Nowhere as much as in the lit-
erary world does the vulgar old saying hold good,
" Get your name up, and you can lie in bed till
noon." Equally applicable is the French proverb,
(Test le premier pas qui coute. But she could
not afford to be daunted by considerations like
these. However forlorn the hope might be, it
had the flavor of hope still, and her children must
have bread. With a tremor in her heart, and
yearning in her "scherin" eyes that doubtless had
UP BROADWAY. 237
tlie force of a plea with the kind editor to whom
she offered her story, she waited for his reply.
" A story I see ? " said he, after a casual exam-
ination, folding it up again.
"Can you not read or have it read now? " she
inquired. " I would so like to know about it."
"Doubtless," he answered. "But I am just
going away for the day, and shall not have a mo-
ment until to-morrow morning; but let me tell
you one thing, my dear woman, do not for mercy's
sake be too hopeful in regard to its acceptance.
"VVe are completely overrun with stories of this
description. You have written before, I presume,
and know all about these things."
"No, sir," she moaned, trembling with the
expected disappointment. " This is my first
""Well, well, child," he interrupted, kindly,
almost paternally; "do not borrow any trouble
about it. Probably if it doesn't answer for us,
it may for some one else. Come in to-morrow
about this hour, and I will tell you all about
None but those who have been through this
23$ SEQUEL TO
trying ordeal of waiting can understand Nellie's
feelings through the remainder of the day.
She went on time the next morning, though,
you may believe. The editor met her with a
kind smile, and the manuscript in his hand.
It had lost its blue ribbon, and it seemed
to her invested with a new charm since its
lodgment in the editor's desk.
"Well!" said he, smiling; "what do you
think about it?"
"Oh, I don't know," replied his visitor,
vainly trying to control herself.
" It is wicked," said" he, " to keep you on the
anxious-seat so long, my child. I have taken
your story : it is a very good one, and there is
nothing to hinder your making a good long
mark in the world of letters. Here is your
check; you can get it cashed at the desk."
Desks, chairs, inkstands, papers, books, assist-
ant-editors, and proof-readers went bobbing
round for a moment in strange confusion. It
required a pretty strong will-power to keep from
fainting just then; but, as in previous instances,
will conquered, and Nellie presented herself at
UP BROADWAY. 239
the desk for her money, received the astonishing
sum of thirty-live dollars, and went on her way
rejoicing. There was not a prouder or happier
woman in America than was she, as she pressed
her precious darlings to her bosom, knowing that
now she possessed the means within herself to
ward off hunger from her little ones. Here, then,
was proof that money was to be earned by story-
writing. This door had not shut in her face,
but had opened with frank promise and wel-
come. She "was encouraged and happy. There
were bread, clothing, and shelter for her dear
ones within easy and honorable reach. She
went on writing, with more or less success, until
she had secured a welcome for her articles in
several of the literary papers of the city. But
now the chord, which had been stretched beyond
its strength, threatened to break. It often hap-
pens so. "While the full tension is on, the slender
thread seems strong ; slacken it, and it shows
how little there is left of it. It was so with our
friend's physicial energy. Her overtaxed brain
and nervous system revenged themselves the
moment they had opportunity to do so. Brain
240 SEQUEL TO
fever supervened. For weeks the poor child lay
helpless and suffering, happily unconscious how-
ever, a part of the time, that she was no longer
able to support her children. During this long
struggle for the necessaries of life, our friend
had had ample opportunity to test friendship.
In a few instances she had found the precious
gem, and finding, had valued and enjoyed it as
every true woman must. She had waded
through deep waters, had been subjected to per-
secution and misconstruction, had added practice
to her natural discrimination, and had come to
judge accurately between the specious and the
real, the false and the true. Now she was ill,
and unable to provide for her family; and God,
who never utterly forsakes his little ones, sent a
friend to her relief. That friend was a man,
and that man, strange as it may seem here, a
Broad street broker, who, notwithstanding the
din, bustle, and excitement consequent upon the
rise and fall of stocks, had both time and dispo-
sition to assist those in need of assistance.
There was no love in the premises, save that
tender and unselfish brotherly affection which
UP BROADWAY. 241
every true man must feel for a delicate woman
battling with the dreadful realities of life.
When friendship does exist between a man
and woman, the links are wonderfully strong.
For weeks this friend ministered to the invalid,
providing for every want, and assuming the
whole responsibility of the family. No matter
who he is ; you will find him any day in Broad
street ; but his name is known to the angel who
wrote "Ben Adhem" as "one who loved his
fellow-men." Convalescence from this illness
was slow but sure, and Nellie again found her-
self able to use her pen. With no regular salary,
dependent entirely upon the sale of the articles
she was compelled to grind out each week, it
was of course terribly up-hill work; and then,
too, she found herself compelled to fight for
every inch of the ground she travelled. And
now another word upon the misconstruction to
which pure and delicate-minded, yet natural and
impetuous women are constantly subjected in
their struggle for success in the business of life.
The story of the pretty French girl, as told in
" Packard's Monthly," raised a curious cry of op-
242 SEQUEL TO
position from the smaller f ry of the press. " It
was ridiculous," they declared. "Very clearly
impossible ! " " No editor, or respectable man of
any profession, would ever insult and take ad-
vantage of a young woman in that way, if her
own conduct did not furnish him an invitation to
do so. Thousands of women," they persisted,
" went daily in and out of newspaper offices,
transacting their business with as much freedom
as men, and were treated, in fact, with more res-
pect and deference than men could be." In the
majority of instances this is undoubtedly the
case. It is no part of our purpose to slander the
profession of literature in the person of the
preux chevaliers who have adopted it. And
yet not only is the French girl's story true, but
many another like it might be told by women
whose very unconsciousness of evil has led them
to treat the betes noirs of the profession with
a naturalness and spontaneity of manner that
such natures can never understand. The idea
that the treatment women receive at the hands
of men depends exclusively on their own deport-
ment is also encouraged by some women. Not
UP BROADWAY. 243
long ago I had the pleasure of listening to a con-
versation between a well-known dramatist and
litterateur, and an equally well-known poetess of
New York City.
Said the former: "I see no need of women
raising this outcry in regard to insult. For my
part, I have never met with any such trouble.
I can always command respect, because I am
always myself, and know how to assert myself.
Misconstruction ? Heigho ! That is all non-
" In your case perhaps it is," - replied her
witty companion, flushing crimson to the very
roots of her hair. "There are those, most cer-
tainly, whom the obtusest of the obtuse could
not in any manner misconstrue. They invite
freedom and receive it make no fuss about
it, because it is the diet they are accustomed
to ; and these are the very women who cry out
the loudest against their own sex. These are
the women who make men bad, and keep them
bad. My experience has been not at all like
yours. I have self-respect, but have not found
that my mere presence was always a sufficient
244 SEQUEL TO
assertion of it. In fact," doubling tip her litfle
hand and extending it towards her interlocutor,
" I have on two or three occasions in my life, aa
a writer, been obliged to aid the logic of that
presence with the more irresistible and compre-
hensible logic of this fist."
These are hard facts, but facts nevertheless.
Sometimes I have reasoned with myself after
this wise : This dreadful condition of tilings is
consequent upon the violation of some law. At
a fire at sea, in a gale of wind, or any extraor-
dinary occurrence where the courage and good
behavior of men need to be exhibited, it often
happens that they fall far short of the manly, to
say nothing of the heroic work. Conflagrations
and earthquakes are out of the natural order of
things ; and so, it seems to me, is the war which
women are compelled to wage for their bread
and butter ; and this may account for the strange
conduct of some business men towards women
compelled to labor. It is not what they have
been taught to consider the original plan, and so
they fail to appreciate the motives which drive
women into counting-rooms and printing-offices.
UP BROADWAY. 245
To me there is something terribly out of joint in
the idea of a woman's hand-to-hand tussle with
business. It seems quite enough for women to
bear the children of the world, and educate them
for positions of trust and responsibility ; and the
mother of a family will find but little time for
business details if she attend carefully and con-
scientiously to her household. Wifehood and
motherhood will not prevent literary pursuits.
On the contrary, women who write because they
love to write, and on this account cannot help
writing, invariably write well. In fact, as every
human being, man or woman, instinctively feels,
there is something about woman that utterly
unfits her for this rough-and-tumble life. It
seems to me that God could never have intended
that she should be the bread-winner. Her minis-
try is not in the outer courts of the temple, but
belongs rather to the Holy of the Holies. We
speak here of things as they ought to be, not as
they are. Woman's best right, after all is said
and done, is the right to a good husband ; and
the truer this doctrine is, the more it will be ap-
parent to every acute mind that she can be con-
246 SEQUEL TO
tent with nothing short of that consummation.
"With a half-way good husband she has only half
her rights, and with a bad one she is in the con-
dition of an utter slave. Knowing that she has
the natural right to a protecter and provider, if,
in order to secure moral and physical safety to
herself and her children, she finds it necessary to
leave the man whose name she bears, must she
not find the struggle for bread unnatural and
repugnant, and must she not become unnerved,
shattered, rasped ready in any moments of
anguish to lie down and die from sheer exhaus-
tion and discouragement ? There are, of course,
some women who possess to a certain degree
masculine traits; but we are speaking only of
those whose womanhood is most perfect. I will
venture to say that there cannot be found one
woman in ten who earns her living away from
home and home loves, who will say that such a
life is desirable. I have talked with hosts of
" My dear," I have said to more than one poor
struggling soul, " what of all things here below
UP BROADWAY. 247
would you most prefer, provided your wish could
The invariable answer is, while tears will fill
the tired eyes : " Oh, somebody to love me and
take care of me."
Mark well, oh ye who declare that woman's
happiness can be complete without conjugal love
THAT SOMEBODY IS NEVEK A WOMAN. This
comes from no desire to shirk work, but because
they feel the utter uncongeniality of their em-
Notwithstanding all this, the dreadful know-
ledge stares us in the face that woman must
labor must, like her brother, earn her living by
the sweat of her brow. There is no way of
evading it. Would to God there were ! and that
they could fill the positions which, from the
duties expected of them, they seem best fitted
for. Would that every true woman's heart could
be filled to the brim with good, honest love.
What a glorious world this would be to live in
then ! Now, while I conscientiously believe that
every woman pushed into the world to toil in the
same pursuits as man (I say nothing of the hun-
24:8 SEQUEL TO
dred in every thousand who enjoy such elbow-
ing) is really out of her sphere. I realize also
that this cannot be prevented, and that protection
by law is the just due of such. If women must
work, and in order to accomplish a given result,
must labor twice as assiduously as their brothers,
then surely there is no justice in any law which
deprives them of a single one of their rights.
Up to this time our friend had never seen Miss
Anthony that earnest, ardent, and most devoted
champion of woman's political rights. She had
become greatly interested in her manner of put-
ting things, although unable to believe, as does
this good woman, that men and women stand
upon the same intellectual platform. She had
noticed that girls with the same advantages, edu-
cational and other, as boys, spent a large part of
their leisure time playing with dolls, and talking
to the minature representations of the beauty and
splendor of their mythical "papa;" that while
boys sometimes stopped from their game of ball
or tag to tap a pretty girl under the chin, or
mend her hoop, they would again resume the
game, utterly oblivious that said little girl, very
UP BROADWAY. 249
likely, stood in the same spot expecting another
similar demonstration. She had also seen that
in anything requiring severe analytical study,
boys were, as the rule, ahead, while in music,
composition, rhetoric and the like, girls were
quite up to the mark; and realized from this
general and especial observation that women, if
they live at all as they desire, must live in the
affection al, and that women by nature are more
tender and considerate than men.
Our friend finally concluded to call upon
this defender of women, Miss Susan B. An-
thony, and judge for herself of her charac-
Miss Anthony was engaged, but would be at
liberty presently. So, with a natural feeling
of awe, Nellie seated herself to wait. Imagin-
ation pictured a loud-voiced, unprepossessing
Abigail of masculine proportions and warlike
demeanor, whose hands were fists and whose
feet extended themselves involuntarily when-
ever a man approached ; so that when the door
of an inner office opened, and a pleasant-faced
womanly woman appeared, she cast down her
250 SEQUEL TO
eyes again and prepared to wait a little longer.
A pair of eye-glasses were raised to the mild,
gray orbs, our friend surveyed for a moment
doubtingly (Miss A. lias not the happy faculty
of remembering faces), and then, while a friend-
ly smile lit up her features, Susan advanced to
where the stranger sat.
" Did you wish to see me, madam ? " she in-
quired hastily, and with a preoccupied air. Evi-
dently the " Revolution " was behind time.
"I am waiting for Miss Anthony," replied
" "Well, I am that individual," she answered.
"You have probably seen some newspaper des-
cription of me, and so failed to recognize. You
must never form your opinion of any public
character by report, cartoon, or editorial. They
don't treat us well at all. But what is the matter
with you? You look as though you had been
crying steadily for the last six months."
Nellie smiled a little sadly, but said nothing.
The revolutionary veteran continued : " Now, my
dear woman, this is all wrong. Women never
will accomplish anything until they stop crying.
UP BROADWAY. 251
I don't know why it is, but they seem to consider
tears a badge of honor, and their duty, as well
as privilege, to boo-hoo on all occasions. Men
never cry ! Just imagine a man sitting down
and weeping because some little screw in his life-
machinery is loose. Do you think if he did a
man would stop to help him fix it ? No, indeed !
I tell you, with less brine there would be more
"Yes, Miss Anthony, very true," replied our
friend. " But some women have great excuse for
tears : I have had."
" Great cause for sorrow, no doubt ; but until
women learn to restrain emotion they will always
be in the condition of slaves. If a woman is
unhappy in her domestic relations, crying doesn't
help it. On the contrary, it ruins her eyesight,
breaks her constitution, causing her to grow pre-
maturely old ; and when the time comes for that
woman to go out into the world and scratch for
herself and children, as many are compelled to,
it finds her shattered and unnerved, in no con-
dition to stand up and fight for her rights, as they
all have to when brought into competition with
252 SEQUEL TO
men of business. You are earning your own
living, I suppose ? "
" Yes, madam ; my own living and that of my
" I thought so," she replied. " The same old
story. I wish it was in my power to help sub-
stantially the hosts of suffering women I am
thrown in contact with every day of my life, but
all I can say is, do the best you can. By and by,
the ballot will straighten out things. Take my
advice, now : don't let fall another tear ! "
This was but the first of many very pleasant
interviews that our friend enjoyed with Susan B.
Anthony. Here, too, she became acquainted
with Mrs. Stanton, that genial, lovable person
whom all admire, even though they may differ
seriously from her in opinion. The sight of these
two women working together for the same great
cause sufficiently illustrates the difference be-
tween unison and harmony. Miss Anthony, in-
tensely energetic and abstracted, pleads for her
sex from a point beyond mere feminine sympa-
thy ; while Mrs. Stanton is all woman, and every
word she speaks comes out of a heart conscious
UP BROADWAY. 253
of its needs as a woman, while in her own person
she is an exemplification of true wifehood and
motherhood. From her our friend always felt-
sure of winning that full measure of sympathy
and appreciation, that toleration of female weak-
ness and heart-want, which the masses strangely
enough consider prominent women incapable of
Up to this time not a single word had been
heard from the unnatural husband and father.
He might be dead his relatives argued ; but Nel-
lie, although willing to place the most favorable
construction possible on his silence and absence,
felt confident that he was alive, and that lie
would be sure at some future time to pounce
down upon her, disturbing the peace and inde-
pendence so recently found. She tried to con-
vince herself she was no longer his wife ; that his
brutal conduct and subsequent desertion had
effectually divorced her ; but there was the terri-
ble legality of the marriage staring her in the
face. In her agony lest he might at any time
return, and, acting .upon her refusal to live with
him again as his wife, snatch the children from
254: SEQUEL TO
her, she consulted an eminent !N"ew-York lawyer
to see what action had best be taken in the
The honorable gentleman heard her through,
and then remarked, while his face flushed with
" It is a cruel shame that a divorce cannot be
granted in this eminently virtuous State for the
causes you describe; but unless you can prove
that scamp guilty of adultery I can do nothing
for you, except to assist you in procuring a sepa-
ration a mensa &t thoro which, as a friend, I
would advise you not to apply for. If wary and
patient, you may succeed in procuring a divorce, a
mnculo" And then followed advice in reference
to watching the individual, and if not successful
in such espionage, to finding some one capable of
luring him into the haunts of vice, from which
counsel oar friend recoiled in horror, as must
every honest, high-minded woman.
The days wore on. A year flew rapidly by.
On account of her inability to furnish her apart-
ments as her position now demanded, and hav-
ing, with the incessant labor of her new profes-
UP BROADWAY. 255
sion, little time for the details of housekeeping,
Nellie procured board for herself and family,
and gave her attention exclusively to literature.
One day, while busily engaged in her work, a
servant entered, and informed her that a gentle-
man awaited her in the parlor.
" What name did he give?" inquired Nellie.
" Oh, none, ma'am," replied the waitress.
"Sure and I asked him; but he said 'twas no
matter; you'd know when you got there."
She sprang to her feet with a sudden convic-
tion. It was her " clog " returned to annoy her.
No other man would ever have sent so insulting
a message. She opened the parlor door, pale and
trembling. Sure enough, there he sat, coolly en-
sconsed in the corner of a sofa. As though he
had parted from her but yesterday, he arose, ex-
tended his hand, saying, while a devilish smile
played around his mouth,
"How are you, dnckey? You look as pretty as
a pink ! "
" I am very well, sir," she responded, stiffly.
"But to what unforseen circumstance am I in-
debted for this visit ?"
256 SEQUEL TO
"Nonsense, Nellie! Don't go to getting sar-
castic, for you know I never could stand that!
and don't get excited about tines. Why, I de-
clare, you have grown fleshy, and pretty too!
You've a nice snug place here. Been boarding
" About six months," she replied.
"What did you give up housekeeping for?"
was the next query.
"Because, after your sale and destruction of
household articles, I had nothing to keep house
" Where are the children ? I expect the baby
has grown to be quite a girl."
The two youngest were called, and after being
taken on his knee for a single moment, were dis-
missed with the remark,
" Now run away ; I want to talk to mamma."
No sooner had they gone than he turned to
Nellie, and with a proprietor's air, said,
" Where is our room, duckey ? I am as tired
as the- ."
" OUR room ! My room is upstairs, sir ! " she
answered, with bursting indignation. " You have
UP BROADWAY. 257
no place in this house, and never will have in
any house that I occupy. I have done with you
"Done with me forever? That's a rich joke !"
and the wretch burst into a paroxysm of laughter.
"Why, the little woman has been a widow so
long, she really believes she is her own mistress.
Have you quite forgotten, then, that we stood up
before a minister, once on a time, and you prom-
ised to love, honor, and obey to take for better
or for worse, until death did us part this indi-
vidual who stands before you? Ay! duckey,
I have got you now ! Come, no more airs. Show
a fellow where you live. Upon my word, you
haven't the slightest idea how tired I am."
" Neither do I care, sir," and the slight form
was straightened to its utmost dignity. "And
have the kindness to leave the house im-
mediately. I am supporting myself and chil-
dren, and especially request that you will in the
future, as you have in the past year, let me and
mine alone. I promise that you shall never be
annoyed by me, under any circumstances, except,
258 SEQUEL TO
indeed, it be in the matter of divorce, which I
intend at some time to procure."
Checkmated! That he thoroughly realized.
For a moment he stood as if petrified ; then his
rage burst forth in a perfect volley of curses.
" Well ! " he exclaimed, " if you try that game,
I'll take every young one you've got away
from you ! I wonder how my lady will relish
" Take them if you can ! " replied the intense
little woman. " Notwithstanding, I am your
legal wife, and you are the legal father of these
children, I do not believe there can be found a
court of justice, in the length and breadth of the
land, that would give you the custody of them.
Might makes right, in almost every instance,
and I have proved myself capable of taking
care of them which you never have! and I
shouldn't be afraid to trust the decision of
any so-called honorable body. So try it, and
I will fight you to the last gasp, and keep
my children too."
A few moments after our ci-devant lord and
master left the house, having been afforded a
UP BROADWAY. 259
fine opportunity for reflection. He was now,
as may be imagined, at his wits' ends ! Out of
business, out of clothes, penniless, and deter-
mined not to work unless the employment ex-
actly suited his fastidious taste, the gentleman
was sadly in need of a home, and a wife to
support him, which, strange to relate, our
friend couldn't be made to feel her duty For
some time he kept exceedingly quiet, annoying
her only by letters, in each of which he expressed
his penitence for past misdeeds eloquently im-
ploring mercy, in no instance forgetting to
state that he was entirely out of money ; to all of
which appeals she turned a deaf ear. For " con-
duct " unbecoming a mason," he had been ex-
pelled from his lodge, and now sought favor
again in he eyes of his brethern. By means
of tears, and promises of reform, he worked
upon their manly sympathy to the extent of
persuading them to act as his ambassadors.
Upon no account would our friend be tempted
into saying or thinking an unkind thought of the
fraternity of which he was once an honored mem-
ber. Notwithstanding his expulsion, many of the
260 SEQUEL TO
members of the lodge personally sympathized
with and aided her by advice, promises of pro-
tection, and in one or two instances, pecuniarily.
'They could not tolerate him in their society;
she could not live with him as her husband : so
far the lodge and herself were in sympathy.
Committees of masons were appointed to visit
her, and endeavor to induce her to welcome the
prodigal. On one of these occasions, after hav-
ing explained to her their ideas of the duties of
the case, and laid before her, in eloquent terms,
the immense responsibility devolving upon her
as a wife and mother, she made answer,
" Gentleman, as God lives, I have faithfully
performed my part of the marriage contract.
Because I was a wife, and believed in the
sacredness of my wifely compact, I bore pa-
tiently every description of abuse possible to
conceive of torture so terrible, gentlemen, that
words would fail to describe it. Desertion he
then added to the list of horrors, and for one
year was not heard from. During a portion of
that year my children have been hungry and
cold, suffering for the commonest necessaries of
UP BROADWAY. 261
life. Through the keenest physical and mental
anguish, by God's help and my own determina-
tion, I have conquered circumstances, and find
myself thoroughly competent to support my
little family ; and now, having reached this sat-
isfactory position, you ask me to take again to
my bosom a man who has never been to me any-
thing but a brute, a man who left his wife and
children to starve and die. Have you restored
him to full fellowship in your lodge ? "
" Oh, no ! " one of them replied. " Such fin ac-
tion would be in direct disobedience to the rules
of our order. It is possible he may be reinstated
at some future time, at least we hope so. It
depends entirely upon his subsequent conduct.
The cases are not analogous at all."
" Perhaps not," replied Nellie; "but it amounts
to just this : You naturally distrust his protesta-
tions of reform, and find yourselves unable and
unwilling to restore him to the privileges of your
order ; but you would fain convince me that it is
my duty to bring this man into the most intimate
and sacred of human relations. Gentlemen, I
fail to see the logic of your argument."
262 SEQUEL TO
After this last turning of the tables, as may be
imagined, there were no more committees o
masons appointed to visit her. Failing to accom-
plish his purpose by this means, he suddenly fell
to making profesfsions of religion, and thus en-
listed the sympathies of prominent ministers of
the gospel every one of whom Nellie in turn
"Your husband appears very fond of you,"
said one of those divines, " and seems to dote on
" Yes," replied Nellie, a little sarcastically, it
must be confessed, "his past conduct has fully
demonstrated the depth and intensity of his affec-
tion for both wife and children."
" But, my friend, can you not allow bygones to
be bygones ? Can you not, for the sake of future
happiness, forgive and forget ? "
" That is precisely what I am trying to do, if
his friends will only allow me. I can bury the
man, and his misdeeds, beyond all possibility of
" But, madam, you are his wife, his wife in
the sight of God."
UP BROADWAY. 263
"That, sir, I deny. To my shame, I am obliged
to confess myself his legal partner ; but, in
God's sight I am no more his wife than I am
yours, nor so much, for between us there may
be some bond of sympathy."
As may be inferred, the parson was somewhat
shocked, and entered his most solemn protest.
" Do not, I beseech you, my dear madam, allow
yourself to be inoculated with the loose ideas at
present prevailing in reference to marriage. The
past has probably been bitter ; but it is a wife's
duty to forgive everything, and to be ready to
believe anything. You should remember your
sacred promise keep it constantly before you
to love, honor, and obey until death."
" Sir," said Nellie, " you know nothing what-
ever of this man ; nothing of me, except what
he has chosen to represent. You have come
armed with all the panoply of your profession,
eloquent with texts of scripture, wrested to suit
my peculiar case ; but all this can make no im-
pression upon me. My heart has cicatrized at
last, and can no longer feel any sense of especial
duty towards the man whose cause you are
264 SEQUEL TO
pleading, unless indeed it jbe the duty I owe
myself and children of letting him gloriously
alone. My dear sir, I would have you answer
me one question. What is a wife ? Taking you
on your probable answer that it is a woman who
has publicly promised to love, honor, and obey a
man until death should part them twain, I
would again ask, Can a woman keep this prom-
ise unconditionally? Are love and honor and
obedience still due a man who has himself vio-
lated every promise of his own ; who abuses, con-
taminates, insults, fails to provide for, and finally
forsakes the woman he has promised to love and
cherish ? and is marriage then a mere physical
bond perfectly consistent with hatred and disgust ?
Am I the wife of that man ? Has not every law
of right already divorced us ; and would not
any sanction the law might give to such divorce
be a mere form the mere opening of a wooden
door ? So it seems to me, sir ; and all the argu-
ment that the combined force of all creation could
bring to bear on this subject would not move me
" Then, I suppose, it is no use for me to say
UP BROADWAY. 265
any more ; but I do beseech of you to be careful.
You are still young and comely love may be
offered you, Mrs. - . I have no doubt but it
will be so. Oh, madam, I shudder to think of
it ! " and the agitated parson wrung his hands in
bitterness of spirit.
" If love is offered me, real, genuine love,"
replied Nellie, who could with difficulty suppress
a roar, " I have an indistinct sort of an idea that
I shall accept it, and be wonderfully thankful
therefor. Love, you know, to use your own
weapons (scripture weapons), is but l a fulfilling
of the law ; ' ' love worketh no ill to its neighbor,'
etc. I should be basely forgetful of first princi-
ples did I reject the inestimable gift. I have
never yet loved, never seen the man to whom
my heart can bow down in homage, saying, ' You
are my conqueror.' Four years of practical wid-
owhood, during which the most intense stretch
of every faculty has been an e very-day cxperi-
rience, during which, day by day, and week by
week, the cry. of my children for bread must be
met and answered, left me but little time to think
either of w r hat ' might have been,' or ( might yet
2C6 SEQUEL TO
be ;' and yet I possess a woman's dearest needs
and intensest yearnings. I believe, with Miss
Diana Mulock, that most conservative of con-
servatives, who, like all poets, speak the truth
in spite of themselves, that
' Duty's a slave that holds the keys,
But love, the master, goes in and out
Of his goodly chambers, with song and shout
Just as he please just as he please. ' "
It is needless to say that after this the clergyman
took his leave.
To this day our friend has remained firm in
her determination. Living with her all these
years of struggle and heart-ache opened my soul
to the terrible woes which a large class of women
endure at the hands of the law, and gave me
strength and courage to cry out with all my
woman's might against its terrible injustice. At
this time, when my head was bowed almost to the
earth with affliction, the heroine of " Up Broad-
way " was strangely thrown in my path, and with
her consent, and that of her husband, I deter-'
mined to give the story to the world.
There is another thing which it will be well
UP BROADWAY. 267
to take into consideration before leaving this
subject. Woman, whether made to be loved or
not, no one will deny is made to love. One of
the arguments used by men against her occupy-
ing certain places requiring intellectual strength,
is that she is made to live in the affections. So
she is. The woman who becomes too sorrowful,
or too hardened by any experience, to love, is
wanting in the distinctive womanly attributes
given her by God. Suppose now the deluded,
cheated, abused, disgusted wife, whose nature is
none the less loving because of her sorrow, and
certainly needing love all the more, meets some
man who would be to her, strength and happi-
ness; and suppose they mutually love. Such
things have been. Is she for what was her dire
misfortune to be doubly punished, and doomed
to be legally bound to the man who has kept
not one of the vows of his marriage bond ? Is
it just that his cruelty, drunkenness, or desertion
should go for nothing in the eye of the law, and
she be obliged to have his secret footsteps
dogged to prove him adulterous? Or suppose
another case : A good man has a termagant
268 SEQUEL TO
wife : his home is made wretched with her vixen-
ish disposition, till he is glad to seek refuge from
her sight in club, lodge, or bar-room. Even the
gambler's hell is often less infernal than a man's
house. Why should he, in order to be legally
free from the thorn in his side, be able not only
to "prove her unbearable in temper, but unclean
in morals ? The law will grant a separation ;
why, then, not a divorce ? "Will you answer
because the law of God says for this cause (adul-
tery) alone? Do yon pretend that the divorce
law of the State of New York is founded on
divine law ? "Where, then, do you find in Holy
"Writ, that an offence which sends a man to
State's prison is adulterous ? but that is legal
ground for divorce. Where do you find that
desertion for seven years is adulterous ? yet that
is also legal ground for divorce. Does it not
seem that these laws of a State made by men,
were fashioned by them to suit their own con-
science, and then salted a little with scripture to
season them ? Do not say it is as hard upon man
as woman. It is not so. A man may leave his
loving or unloving spouse, and so long as he does
not openly outrage any of the social proprieties,
no disgrace attaches to him. Let a woman
leave the man who maltreats her, and in nine
cases out of ten, she must henceforth walk more
than widowed. At once she is regarded with
suspicion. The widow may enter freely into
society, but the deserting or the deserted wife,
whether in the house or by the way, must guard
every look, word, and action. She is in constant
danger, in the most innocent of her actions, of
compromising herself. She has no liberties ; she
never is her " own mistress." Every gossip and
scandal-monger has a right to watch and criti-
cize her movements. In many communities a
woman is almost as much disgraced by the fact
of having parted from her husband, as she would
be if she had committed a crime. It is always
hard for her to obtain respectable employment.
Of course, the better educated and more enlight-
ened the community, the less likely it would be
to take this view ; but even the best are apt to
look with a slight degree of suspicion upon such,
and receive her demands for acceptance and
appreciation with a grain of social salt. And if
270 SEQUEL TO
she dares accept friendship and sympathy from
any man, what an object of interest she at once
becomes to Mrs. Grundy!
"We would not for the world that any change
should be made that we did not in our heart of
hearts believe would be for the best good of
society. The outcry that has of late been made,
of danger to public morals, as the result of any
change in the strictest marriage laws, is in our
opinion quite gratuitous. Don Quixote will
always be ready to fight wind-mills ; but the free
winds of heaven will not be constrained by the
arm of any old fogy, whether individual or col-
lective. We do not believe that any permanent
evil could possibly result from an amelioration of
the laws of divorce, as they exist on the statute-
books of the State of New York. Is Connec-
ticut any less moral than other States ? and yet
the divorce laws there are far less rigid than
those of any Eastern State ; exceeded in liberal-
ity by none in the Union, except those of Indi-
ana. Of course, in both these States, there are
more divorces than in any others, and why?
Simply because the laws of other States are so
UP BROADWAY. 271
rigid as to induce many outsiders to flock
thither : just as the Southern slaves used to flee to
Canada for freedom. Since the emancipation of
slavery that hegira has stopped; and so would
the hegira of men and women to Indiana in
search of freedom from hateful marriage bonds,
if the laws of other states were framed upon the
liberal principles which govern these. Out of
the abundance of the heart the author has written
the preceding pages. That they may arouse
good men and women to the injustice so potent
to all who will think, is her fervent desire. God
grant it !
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